Thursday 5th June, 2003


TSTT profits soar

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Guardian Business Desk

TSTT has made an after-tax profit of $439 million for the year ending March 31, 2003, Sam Martin, the telecommunications company’s CEO, said yesterday.

The TSTT results are 18 per cent higher than the $372.5 million the company earned in 2001.

Martin was responding to an enquiry from the Guardian, following yesterday’s publication of the year-end results of Cable & Wireless Plc, TSTT’s London-based 49 per cent shareholder.

C&W reported an annual loss of £6.53 billion (about TT$65 billion) in the 12-month period.

One of the beneficiaries of TSTT’s profitability is likely to be National Enterprises Ltd, the investment company which holds the State’s 51 per cent shareholding in TSTT.

Last year, TSTT contributed $189 million in net profit to NEL.

TSTT was forecast to contribute $196.9 million to NEL in 2003, but based on Martin’s figure, the company will now contribute $223.9 million to NEL.

In its financial report, C&W said the Caribbean region contributed £255 million (approximately TT$25 billion) in operating profits to the parent company.

“Operating profit (for the Caribbean) includes a £34 million contribution from the associate Telecommunications Service of T&T, up six per cent on year at constant currency,” the company said.

Martin said he could not say how C&W calculated this figure, as the company has its own accounting system.

Due to the £6.5 billion loss for this financial year, C&W announced yesterday that it will be undertaking a major restructuring of its operations.

C&W said because of slumping demand for its Internet operations, the company will cease operating in the United States, suspend its dividend for a year and cut an additional 1,500 jobs, all of them in Britain, where it lost money.

C&W also announced that a restructuring of its Caribbean operations, which were previously lumped with other countries in a structure called Regional.

This is to be replaced by a group of national telecoms companies whose CEOs will have more responsibility.

Martin said the new structure would not affect local operations, since C&W only owns 49 per cent of the company and is run independently of the parent company.

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