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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 18:55 GMT
Record loss for Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom phones
Deutsche Telekom reports better times ahead
Deutsche Telekom, Germany's dominant telephone company, has reported Europe's biggest ever annual corporate loss.

For 2002 the company posted a net loss of 24.6bn euros (16.9bn; $27.1bn) but reported that business had improved in the fourth quarter.

The results were in line with analyst expectations.

The news hit German shares hard, as the 7% slide in the company's stock price helped the blue-chip Dax index in Frankfurt to a 4% fall by late afternoon to a seven-year low of 2,333.73 points.

It is the third time in just a week that the European loss-making title has changed hands, after France Telecom and Vivendi both unveiled 2002 losses of more than 20bn euros.

Pay off

Much of the loss occurred because of the dramatic reduction in value of assets bought during the telecom and dot.com booms.

These so-called "write-downs", including US unit T-Mobile USA, led to charges totalling 19.3bn euros.

Last year the company was in crisis and shareholders lost faith in the ability of management.

Since then, Deutsche Telekom has shaken up its board, and put in place one of the most dramatic cost-cutting programmes Europe has ever experienced.

Deutsche Telekom cut its debts to 61.1bn euros in the last quarter and has promised to cut it to 50bn euros this year by selling non-core assets and cutting investment.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Eddie Murphy, telecoms analyst
"They [Deutsche Telekom] hold the sixth largest operator in the United States"



SEE ALSO:
Telekom sells T-Online shares
02 Dec 02 |  Business
Thousands more Telekom job cuts
08 Oct 02 |  Business


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