WARSAW Feb 21 Poland's No.2 telecoms group
Netia plans to spend 128 million zlotys ($41.2 million)
on a share buyback programme this year and may hand back a
further 145 million to shareholders in 2014.
The company, which has been expanding through acquisitions,
said on Thursday it had swung to a net loss of 88 million zlotys
in 2012 from a profit of 249 million the previous year on
impairment and acquisition costs.
Netia has not paid dividends in recent years, preferring to
use its funds to buy smaller rivals as part of efforts to better
compete with market leader TPSA, a unit of France
Telecom, and cable TV providers.
Chief Executive Miroslaw Godlewski said in a statement the
payout plans reflected the confidence of the group's management
that its performance would stabilise during 2013.
He said the possible 2014 payout of 145 million zlotys would
be worth 0.4 zlotys per share. This year's planned buyback would
involve the purchase of 4.2 percent of the company's equity and
would equate to around 0.35 zlotys per share.
The company, which has already bought back 8.3 percent of
its shares, said it would hand back the cash in the form of
further buybacks, dividends, or capital redemptions.
After a battle for residential internet users that has
weighed on its results, Netia said it expects its business
segment to be its main growth engine and it would focus on
developing services for corporate customers.
Shares in Netia, which has a market capitalisation of $500
million, have shed 34 percent of their value over the last year,
underperforming Warsaw's broad WIG index, which was up 9
($1 = 3.1096 Polish zlotys)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by David Holmes)