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Friday, 7 January, 2000, 08:14 GMT
Mannesmann profits boosted by mobiles

Mannesmann office Mannesmann has rejected the Vodafone AirTouch bid


Profits at German conglomerate Mannesmann jumped 37% in 1999, buoyed by demand for mobile phones.

Mobile merger battle
Mannesmann, currently the subject of a hostile takeover bid by UK telecoms group Vodafone AirTouch, saw pre-tax profits of 4.3bn euro last year.

More than half (about 2.2bn) was generated by the telecoms division.

The company didn't publish net profit figures, but it said a higher tax bill meant that net profits were less than in 1998.

Sales totalled 23.2bn euros, an increase of some 22% from the 1998 figure, Mannesmann said.

Mobile strength

Customer growth in mobile phones was over 70%, the company said, with the company registering four million customers in the fourth quarter alone.

The number of internet customers reached 2.6m at the end of last year.

Its mobile phone groups are UK operator Orange, Mannesmann D2, and Italian group Omnitel.

Mannesmann fight back

Vodafone AirTouch has given Mannesmann shareholders until 7 February to accept its offer.

It says a merger would create an unmatched European mobile phone network and a global brand.

Mannesmann expects to spend up to 200m euros defending itself against the hostile takeover bid, the company said on Thursday.

This would cover Mannesmann's information campaign, which has included full-page newspaper ads in German and British newspapers and an international investor roadshow by by chairman Klaus Esser.

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See also:
21 Dec 99 |  Business
World's biggest takeover bid
24 Nov 99 |  Business
Europe's level playing field?
28 Dec 99 |  Business
The insatiable merger appetite
14 Nov 99 |  The Company File
Mannesmann rejects Vodafone bid
18 Nov 99 |  The Company File
Vodafone's 79bn merger bid

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