February 28, 2013 / 6:47 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Deutsche Telekom Q4 profit drops 13 pct as Europe struggles

* Q4 adj. EBITDA 4.03 bln eur vs 4.19 bln eur expected

* Q4 mobile service revenues down 2.8 pct

* Keeps outlook for 2013 adj. EBITDA of 18.4 bln euros

BARCELONA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom’s operating profit dropped 13 percent in the fourth quarter as the company faced head-winds in its German mobile market and the rest of Europe.

Deutsche Telekom is facing upheaval in the once cosy and very profitable German mobile phone market, where competitors are adapting to the changing habits of German customers, who are dropping voice and text messaging in favour of data.

Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding special items, came in at 4.03 billion euros ($5.3 billion), missing an average forecast of 4.19 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

Germany’s second-largest mobile player after Vodafone Germany said it still expected EBITDA, excluding special items, to grow to around 18.4 billion euros in 2013.

This includes earnings streams from MetroPCS, which Deutsche Telekom wants to buy and merge with its struggling T-Mobile USA unit. Excluding MetroPCS 2013 earnings, adjusted EBITDA is expected to fall to 17.4 billion euros.

Fourth-quarter revenues dropped 1.4 percent to 14.7 billion euros, which was slightly ahead of expectations. Mobile service revenues in Germany were down 2.8 percent, which was weaker than the in previous year.

The company in December cut its dividend for this year and next by almost a third to 0.50 euros from the 0.70 euros per share it will pay for 2012, as investments at home and in the United States, where it has been losing market share, eat away at cash.

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