Cable & Wireless posts profit, pays dividend

26 May 2005

International carrier Cable & Wireless has reported a profit of £377m sterling, up 36pc against the previous year. The company also revealed that it will be investing £190m sterling in next-generation networks over the next three years.

For the financial year ended 31 March, 2005, the company recorded a total revenue of £3bn (sterling), down from £3.1bn reported last year. However, the company still managed to yield profits and increase capital expenditure to £332m from £326m last year as well as recommending a full year dividend of 3.8 pence per share, on top of a previous £1.16 payout, representing a 21pc increase in the total dividend.

The increase in dividend payouts represent increased confidence in the Cable & Wireless Group, says the company’s chairman Richard Lapthorne. Only three years ago Cable & Wireless suffered financially during the telecoms downturn.

“The past 12 months have been a time of transition, as Cable & Wireless entered a new phase in the three-year programme to revive the company. By the end of the year, the chief executive and his new team were no longer preoccupied with the issues of the company’s past and had turned confidently to face the future.”

Referring to the company’s acquisition last year of Bulldog Communications, which gives the company crucial access to the last mile in the UK broadband market, Lapthorne said: “Building our customer base in this way is an important goal as we embark upon investment of £190m over the next three years in our UK IP-based Next Generation Network and systems.

“The new technology offers network economies that will benefit our customers and improve our margins. In this context, we welcome Ofcom’s vision of a UK telecoms market based on realistic and sustainable competition among players willing to invest in future technological strength,” Lapthorne added.

By John Kennedy