26 Feb 2010

Profits fall at phone companies

7:35 am on 26 February 2010

Two of the biggest telecoms companies in Europe have seen big drops in their annual profits.

Deutsche Telekom reported a net profit of 353 million euros ($US476 million) for 2009 - a drop of 76% on the previous year.

France Telecom's profit fell 26% to 3 billion euros. The result was hit by charges related a series of suicides last year.

Overall revenue fell 1.9% to 51 billion euros.

Deutsche Telekom revenue for the year rose 4.8% to 64.4 billion euros.

The BBC reports the company made a loss of 3 million euros in the final quarter of the year, but this was significantly narrower than the 730 million euros it lost in the same period a year earlier.

Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and France Telecom's Orange have announced plans to merge their UK businesses.

The proposal is being examined by the Office of Fair Trading.