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C&W reorganises as International chief quits

14 ноября 2007

Cable & Wireless Tuesday announced that Harris Jones, CEO of its international business, will step down from his position. The news came as the U.K.-based telecoms operator reported significant profit growth in the first half of the year, although revenues fell on the back of the telco's strategy of paring back its enterprise customer base.

C&W reorganises as International chief quitsFollowing Jones' departure, C&W's Europe, Asia and U.S. chief executive John Pluthero will head up International in a bid to grow the business until a permanent replacement for Jones is found.

"[Cable & Wireless] are looking to step up the pace of change in the International business and they feel that a fresh pair of eyes is needed," a C&W spokesman told Total Telecom.

"Since he joined…Harris has successfully rebalanced International towards the growth areas of mobile and broadband, doubling mobile and tripling broadband customer numbers," commented Richard Lapthorne, chairman of C&W, in a statement.

"At the same time, the financial performance of International has improved and International shareholder value has increased by over £1 billion," he said.

Jones' severance package includes a payment of £4.3 million based on the performance of the International business. Lapthorne explained that Cable & Wireless is concentrating on accelerating the growth and awareness of it International business. "John Pluthero has an outstanding track record in this area," he said.

In addition, Lord Robertson will step down as non-executive chairman of International, but will act as senior international advisor to Cable & Wireless.

The announcement follows reports that the company will unveil plans to undergo a full demerger of its U.K. and international businesses within six months.

The Times reported Monday that the turnaround in Cable & Wireless' Europe, Asia & U.S. business would pave the way for split next year. The Cable & Wireless spokesman said the telco will look at its value realisation options, one of them being a full demerger, for the financial year 2008/09.

Jones' departure comes the same day Cable & Wireless announced net profit more than doubled to £134 million in the six months ending September 30 from £58 million in 2006.

The International business contributed $1.21 billion in revenues during the period, up 7% from $1.13 billion a year ago, and saw a 4% rise in its operating profit to $295 million, from $284 million in the first six months of 2006. "International continues to deliver good growth from mobile and broadband," said Lapthorne.

Indeed, the company saw the number of active mobile customers increase to 5.7 million, from 4.3 million a year ago, while broadband customers rose to 439,000 from 338,000 a year earlier.

However, poor performance of the company's domestic voice business in Jamaica has prompted Cable & Wireless to lower its full year Ebitda guidance for International by $20 million to between $820 million and $840 million.

Cable & Wireless' Europe, Asia & U.S. business swung to an operating profit of £50 million, boosted by exceptional items, from an operating loss of £59 million in 2006.

The operator has subsequently raised full year Ebitda guidance for Europe, Asia & U.S. by £35 million to between £205 million and £215 million.

However, C&W's plan to reduce customers meant revenue at the unit declined 13% to £961 million from £1.107 billion the previous year.

The operator is looking to reduce the total number of enterprise customers to around 3,000, made up of large businesses, resellers, carriers and public institutions. That current figure stands at 6,902, down from 14,567 at the end of September 2006.

The strategy of focusing on bigger corporate customers at C&W's Europe, Asia & U.S. business contributed to an overall slide in group revenue of 9% to £1.563 billion from £1.718 billion last year.

The telecoms provider also attributed the decline in revenue in part to the weaker U.S. dollar.

Источник: Total Telecom

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