Deutsche Telekom Profits Double
BONN, Germany (AP) _ Former telephone monopoly Deutsche Telekom AG reported preliminary figures Friday showing that profits nearly doubled in 1997 to 3.3 billion marks ($1.83 billion) from 1.8 billion ($1 billion) in 1996.
Germany’s telecom giant stressed, however, that final earning results could be less positive because of operations in Southeast Asia, if the financial crisis in that region worsens.
Facing competition after its home service monopoly expired Jan. 1, Telekom reported a ``displeasing″ increase in material costs _ primarily equipment and services necessary for handling the entry of new carriers in the market. Costs in 1997 were 11.8 billion marks ($6.5 billion), an increase of 1.6 billion marks ($880 million) from the previous year.
Nevertheless, Telekom confirmed that its dividend for 1997 will be 1.20 marks (66 cents), twice what it paid last year.
Pretax profits rose to 7.5 billion marks from 4.1 billion marks, while sales were up at 67.1 billion marks in 1997 from 63.1 billion marks in 1996, the company said.