C&W Comms incurs further costs to improve efficiency, flexibility

Telecoms group Cable & Wireless Communications said it is on track to hit its guidance of flat earnings this year, but will take a further 20m dollars in one-off restructuring costs.

Telecoms group Cable & Wireless Communications said it is on track to hit its guidance of flat earnings this year, but will take a further 20m dollars in one-off restructuring costs.

The company said that, in line with the outlook given at the start of the financial year, group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) performance for the year ending March 31st will be "similar" to 2011/12. In the previous year, EBITDA totalled $901m, while revenues were $2,875m.

The firm said that mobile data revenue grew strongly across the group during the third quarter, helped by increasing smartphone adoption and usage.

However, as part of the re-shaping of its Pan-American region, C&W Comms said it has accelerated some investments designed to reduce costs and improve services for customers, which includes upgrading fixed line infrastructure in Barbados and Cayman, "revitalising" retail operations in Barbados and "transforming" engineering operations in other Caribbean island.

These investments will increase the firm's exceptional restructuring costs this year by $20m to $55m.

"These and other initiatives will improve the efficiency and flexibility of the business and drive cost savings in future years which is critical as market conditions in the rest of the Caribbean remain difficult, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados," the group said.

Net debt by the end of December stood at $1,549m, down $39m over the first quarter.

The firm said that its proposed disposals of its Monaco & Islands business and Macau division are still progressing towards completion.

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