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C&W positive despite £94m loss last year

CABLE & Wireless Worldwide has reported losses of £94m in its first set of results since splitting from its regional telecoms operation.

C&W Worldwide’s loss for the year was prompted by £210m of exceptional items, including £143m stemming from the recognition of the deficit in its defined benefit pension scheme and £13m of demerger-related costs.

But the firm, which split its Communications and Worldwide arms earlier this year, said it has constructed a strong base for the future.

It posted sales of £2.27bn, compared with analyst expectations of £2.26bn. Core earnings were £431m, in line with the company’s guidance and ahead of analyst expectations of £424m.

Revenues from the UK enterprise division increased one per cent to £837m, while in the UK public sector channel the figure was six per cent higher despite the squeeze on government spending. The firm said it was happy with analyst’s forecast of £155m next year.

Jim Marsh, chief executive, said: “These strong trends in gross margin, Ebitda and cash generation speak to the progress we have made in the year. Customers are increasingly prepared to effectively outsource all of their telecoms estate and we’ve seen a sort of stabilisation of voice minutes which is a bit of a lead indicator. We’re not declaring it sorted but there are certainly more positive signs.”

CWC is focused on markets in the Caribbean, Macau and Panama. The demerged Cable & Wireless Worldwide concentrates on the international corporate market.

FAST FACTS | CABLE & WIRELESS

• The firm split in two earlier this year, with one focused on the UK and one on the Caribbean.
• It has benefited from the rise of cloud computing, which allows users to access information remotely via the internet.