Deutsche Telekom reported a EUR1.124 billion net loss for first-quarter 2009 as the German telecoms giant was forced to book a EUR1.8 billion write-down at its struggling UK mobile unit, T-Mobile UK. This compares to a net profit of EUR924 million in the year-earlier period. In the first three months of 2009, the operator reported revenue of EUR15.9 billion, a 6.2 percent rise over the year earlier quarter, and EBITDA up 2.7 percent to EUR4.8 billion. However, with the figures adjusted to exclude Greek operator OTE (which was added to the company’s books during the quarter), revenue in the first quarter was stable at EUR15.0 billion and EBITDA declined 4.8 percent to EUR4.5 billion. The company’s EBITDA outlook for 2009, reduced last month by 2 to 4 percent compared with last year’s EUR19.5 billion, was raised by around EUR2 billion to take into account OTE. Revenues at its mobile communications business increased by 9 percent to EUR9.2 billion, while mobile customers reached 148 million (including 19.9 million OTE mobile customers), a year-on-year increase of 20.6 percent. T-Mobile Deutschland, the operator’s largest mobile unit, saw a 5 percent rise in subscribers to 39 million, while customers at T-Mobile USA rose 7.7 percent to 33.2 million. However, T-Mobile UK saw customer numbers decline 2.6 percent to 16.7 million. 

In a statement, chairman René Obermann described the results as “a mixed picture,” noting that the financial performance of its mobile units in the US, UK and Poland had been affected by the economic downturn, an intense competitive environment and (in Europe) significant changes in exchange rates. The company had cited the same markets in a profit warning last month and is now reportedly under pressure to sell-off some of its struggling units, most notably in the UK. However, Deutsche Telekom seems intent on reviving the UK business and this week appointed Richard Moat, the former boss of France Telecom’s Orange Romania, as T-Mobile UK’s new managing director.