Cable & Wireless revenues down, profits up

2 Jun 2004

International telecoms carrier Cable & Wireless has reported that revenues for 2003/2004 were down 8pc to £3.3bn sterling. However, the company proved it is no longer ‘down and out’ and reported a profit of £317m sterling, a considerable jump from the profit of £79m sterling reported last year.

The company said its return from the dead of telecoms oblivion two years ago was due to tight cash management. On 31 March, its gross cash balance was £2.3bn sterling. Total borrowings were £919m sterling, of which long term debt was £875m sterling.

Income from joint ventures fell to £41m sterling from £75m sterling the year earlier due to the reduction of Cable & Wireless’ stake in MobileOne as well as adverse exchange rate movements.

It is understood that the company is going to return to paying shareholders a dividend of £3.15 sterling a share, six months earlier than expected.

Cable & Wireless chairman Richard Lapthorne said: “The past year has seen a remarkable determination to succeed from our staff worldwide. Eighteen months ago Cable & Wireless was regarded as down and out. Today, that is not the case and the resumption of dividends, whereby we are recommending a total dividend for the year of £3.15 sterling per share, is evidence of our believe that we can build a prosperous future.”

By John Kennedy