Dutch operator group KPN announced plans to cut up to 2,000 jobs by 2016 as it reported a fall in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013.
The company said the drop in revenue was due to “pressure in consumer mobile and business markets,” which was only partly offset by strong performance in its consumer residential unit.
It will continue to work towards a lean operating model with “a next wave of quality improvements,” seeing 1,500 to 2,000 full time jobs go in The Netherlands by 2016. This should lead to combined annual capex and opex savings of €300 million by 2016.
KPN completed a previous employee reduction programme during the fourth quarter, with a total of 4,650 roles cut since 2011.
The company reported revenue and other income of €2.06 billion for the fourth quarter, down 14 per cent on the €2.38 billion reported in the same period in 2012. It reported a Q4 loss of €108 million, an improvement on the €263 million loss reported in Q4 2012.
For 2013 as a whole, KPN reported revenue of €8.47 billion, down 10 per cent on 2012, and a net profit of €293 million, down 6.7 per cent on 2012.
The financial figures for the group excluded KPN’s German unit E-Plus, which is in the process of being sold to Telefonica and is classified as a discontinued operation.
KPN achieved positive postpaid additions in Q4, but actually lost market share in the competitive Dutch mobile market. It also reported success in its postpaid and data business in Belgium (BASE).
The company reported improved operational performance, with its triple play penetration at 44 per cent, up 8 percentage points year on year, with the quad-play customer base doubling.
KPN’s 4G network achieved 80 per cent coverage in The Netherlands, with nationwide coverage due to be achieved by the end of Q1 2014.
Looking to the future, the group plans to resume the payment of a dividend in 2014, subject to the closing of the E-Plus sale. It currently expects to pay €0.07 per share.
KPN CEO Eelco Blok said the company has “put in place strong fundamentals” and expects to stabilise financial performance towards the end of 2014. He also expressed confidence that the E-Plus sale would obtain regulatory approval.