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Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
KPN set for recovery
KPN website
KPN has debts of 15.4bn euros
The Dutch telecoms firm KPN has reported a rise in core profits for the first three months of this year to just over 1bn euros (630m; $918m) before allowing for interest, tax and depreciation.

And although the group made a net loss of 348m euros, analysts said the core earnings suggested it could be set for a recovery after a few difficult months.

The core profits came in at the higher end of analysts' predictions.

Contributing to KPN's net loss was a one-off charge of 477m euros related to its 40% stake in the data communications firm KPNQwest.

But balancing out the charge was a one-off 335m euros profit from the sale of its stake in the Hungarian mobile firm Pannon.

Revival efforts

KPN was close to collapse late last year when it raised 5bn euros in fresh cash by issuing new shares.

Its net debts stood at 15.4bn euros on Tuesday, and these debts have forced KPN to cut costs.

The company has previously said it will cut 5,280 jobs this year and a further 1,300 jobs next year.

The cuts will leave KPN with a workforce of about 32,000 people.

The company's new strategy "with a clear focus on cash and margins" is helping the turnaround, KPN chief executive Ad Scheepbouwer said.

KPN's shares have fallen 18% so far this year, but the stock gained almost 2% in early trading on Tuesday.

See also:

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