Deutsche Telekom Q3 profits defy crisis

Deutsche Telekom, posted positive results on Thursday that demonstrated its resistance to a global slump and allowed the group to confirm a full-year outlook.

Deutsche Telekom Q3 profits defy crisis
Photo: DPA

Deutsche Telekom said net profit climbed seven percent to €959 million ($1.42 billion) in the third quarter of 2009 and sales gained five percent to €16.26 billion.

Core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)rose by 10.2 percent to €5.394 billion, a statement said, as customers continued to call and surf the Internet despite the economic crisis.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast sales of 16.27 €billion and EBITDA, the group’s preferred measure of performance, of €5.33 billion.

“The group therefore confirms its guidance for the year as adjusted in April,” Deutsche Telekom’s statement said.

That outlook was for a slight dip in EBITDA of two to four percent, excluding the results of Greek telecoms operator OTE. Deutsche Telekom’s third quarter results got a boost from the consolidation of OTE’s figures, which added €1.5 billion to sales and 600 million to EBITDA.

Mobile operations in Germany also gained 1.4 percent while those in the United States were 3.0 percent stronger, the German group said, adding that the euro’s gain in value against the dollar had worked in its favour in the US.

“We have continued the positive trend of the second quarter and have picked up the pace,” chief executive Rene Obermann was quoted as saying.

“We responded quickly and took effective steps in those markets we were concentrating on in the first quarter – the United Kingdom, the United States, and Poland.”

Weaker business activity nonetheless hurt operations at the T-Systems division that provides services to businesses, while fixed line operations posted a 3.5 percent drop in sales owing to market competition and increasing use of mobile telephones.

Shares in the company rose by 1.67 percent to €9.44 in early trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange, while the DAX index of German blue-chips was 1.46 percent lower overall.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.