KPN has set its sights on the UK telecommunications market, planning to be an active player by this time next year and eating into BT?s massive market share. Win Dik, chairman of the dominant Dutch telecomms company, believes the UK is a less competitive marketplace that Holland.
The stated challenge to BT?s hegemony comes only a day after KPN said it wants to buy a UK Internet Service Provider via KPN-Qwest, its joint venture established in late November with US carrier Qwest, owner of European Internet provider Eunet. KPN also announced it will increase its shareholding in Telecomn Eireann to 44 per cent when the company goes public, and the Irish company will be a key component in KPN?s UK focus.
KPN?s profits for 1998, announced yesterday, showed a 21 per cent decline to Fl 1.52 billion ($752 million), but that included a pre-tax charge of Fl 800 million for redundancies and rationalisation.
Excluding one-off charges, KPN?s net rose 5.1 per cent to Fl 2.04 billion, but Dik warned that earnings this year would be around Fl 1.6 billion. He said it may take three years to achieve the same levels as 1998.
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