WARSAW Feb 20 Netia, Poland's
second-biggest telecoms firm, warned operating profits were set
to drop sharply this year as revenue continues to fall and also
announced the resignation of Chief Executive Miroslaw Godlewski
after seven years at the helm.
The group, which under Godlewski's direction consolidated
its position behind market leader Orange Polska with a
series of takeovers, posted results for 2013 in line with its
previous forecast but said operating profits this year are
expected to fall 32 percent to 75 million zlotys ($25 million).
The company gave no reasons for Godlewski's resignation.
It's underlying operating profit last year was little
changed from the previous year at 111 million zlotys but
revenue fell 12 percent to 1.876 billion zlotys, more than
double the pace of decline for the whole market.
Analysts expect the market to pick up after years of revenue
declines caused by regulatory cuts in prices and competition,
but not before next year.
This year Netia, which generated around 44 percent of its
sales in 2013 from the declining market for voice services,
expects revenue to be down by a further 7.5 percent at 1.735
The group is aiming to divide its business into individual
and corporate client sectors, a move which some analysts see as
a prelude to a possible sale by its biggest shareholders, which
include Polish pension funds and investment firms Third Avenue
Management and SISU Capital.
Netia, long-touted as a possible takeover target, has been
linked to Deutsche Telekom's local unit, but last
year the German group already bought GTS Central
($1=3.0307 Polish Zlotys)
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)