UPDATE 1-TDC profit falls as competition, regulations hurt

Tue Feb 5, 2013 3:13am EST

* TDC Q4 revenue 6.55 bln DKK vs 6.60 bln forecast

* Q4 EBITDA 2.60 bln, in line with forecasts

* Says keeps 2013 dividend outlook unchanged (Adds details, background, comments, share price)

COPENHAGEN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Intense competition in the Danish mobile telephone market and tougher regulations in Europe hit fourth-quarter profits and revenue at TDC, Denmark's former state-owned telecoms monopoly said on Tuesday,

TDC said revenue fell to 6.55 billion Danish crowns ($1.2 billion) in the quarter, in line with an average forecast of 6.60 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined to 2.6 billion crowns, also in line with forecasts.

The group said it had continued to invest in landline networks but that intense competition, particularly in the mobile segment, had put pressure on prices.

"These achievements cannot detract from the decrease in earnings from mobility services due to significant price pressure," TDC said.

It added regulation of mobile termination rates and international roaming charges had also hurt revenue.

Mobile termination rates are when operators offer their customers the ability to call a mobile number, paying mobile operators a wholesale charge to complete those calls.

In July last year, TDC appointed Carsten Dilling as chief executive. In November, it launched a new strategy warning profits and dividends would be lower in 2013 compared with 2012, because it needed to spend more to upgrade its network and respond to new regulations.

TDC said it saw 2013 EBITDA of 10.0-10.2 billion crowns and revenue of 25.0-25.5 billion. It also stood by its forecast for a 2013 dividend of 3.70 crowns per share.

"The earnings outlook for 2013 is in line with what I had expected," said Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard.

"Turnover guidance is a little lower which is primarily due to EU regulation of mobile termination rates," he added.

Fourth-quarter gross profit in TDC's mobile business fell by about 12 percent to 1.54 billion crowns, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. (Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Mette Fraende; Editing by Mark Potter)

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