Telekom Austria AG

Telekom Austria Group: 2000 results

      Vienna (ots) -

    - Revenues increased by 3.4%, growth in mobile, data and Internet offset competition-related decline in voice telephony     - Rise in customers by almost 40% in mobile communications, positive contribution to profits by VIPNet     - 38,500 ADSL customers resulting from a successful marketing campaign of broadband communications     - 293,000 Internet customers in Austria; market share grows from 22% to 28%  

    - Transformation and restructuring initiated. Level of personnel
within target at year-end

    - Restructuring expenses and competitive pressure put a strain on
EBITDA

    Summary Financial Figures of Telekom Austria Group According to
US-GAAP

    (in mn EUR)                                      2000        1999    Change in %
    Revenues                                      3,905.3  3,775.9                 3.4
    EBITDA                                         1,016.5  1,477.9              -31.2
    EBITDA, excl. Restructuring
      Expenses                                    1,274.9  1,563.4              -18.5
    Operating Results                          -31.5      493.7                n.m.
    Operating Results, excl.
      Restructuring Expenses                 226.9        579.2              -60.8

    Net Income for the Year/ Net Loss
      for the Year of Telekom Austria AG
      with Mobilkom Austria
      at-equity                         -285.6                 200.2                n.m.

    * According to US-GAAP, Mobilkom Austria, in which Telekom Austria
holds 75%+ 1 share, is reflected in the consolidated accounts of
Telekom Austria AG by means of equity consolidation. The summarised
figures also take those of Mobilkom Austria into account.

    Telekom Austria Group AG (NYSE: TKA; VSE: TKA) announced its
operating results for business year 2000 today. The summarised
revenues of the Telekom Austria Group (including Mobilkom Austria)
grew by 3.4% to 3.9 bn EUR. The growth divisions of mobile
communications, data communications and Internet more than offset the
competition-related decline in fixed-line. To adapt the company to
the changed conditions, a comprehensive transformation programme was
initiated, which will lead to a reduction in the number of employees
in fixed line business by 5,000 by the year 2005. The restructuring
measures and the decline in revenues in traditional voice telephony
led to a decline in EBITDA of 1,478 million EUR to 1,016.5 mn EUR.
Excluding restructuring expenses EBITDA fell by 18.5% to 1,274.9 mn
EUR. The consolidated net loss for the year of Telekom Austria AG
fell 200 mn EUR to minus 285.6 mn EUR, and comprises concentrated
efforts to optimise the tax expenses within the Group.

    "As mentioned repeatedly within the framework of the IPO, the
transformation of Telekom Austria Group, which has been radically
embarked upon since the change in the management board, is reflected
in the financial statements of 2000," said Heinz Sundt, CEO of
Telekom Austria. "We are holding firm to our long-term strategy of
transformation from a traditional fixed-line operator to a
full-service provider on an All-IP basis. The increased costs of this
are necessary to overcome the future decline in the fixed line sector
as well as to implement our strategy."

    The Results in Detail:

    Highlights of Business Divisions:

    -- Fixed-line: competitive-related decline in revenues, 258.4 mn
EUR restructuring expenses
    -- Mobile communications: EBITDA grows by 23.3%, market leadership
in Austria and Croatia
    -- Data communications: EBITDA grows 36.5%. New formation as a
solution provider for key customers of the Telekom Austria Group
    -- Other segments: In Austria Internet customer figures almost
tripled, doubled in the Czech Republic

    The fixed-line business division comprises approximately 59% of
sales revenues of Telekom Austria Group, mobile communications 33%,
data communications 7%. The rest falls on other business segments,
which primarily produce sales revenues from Internet business. Mobile
and data communications and other segments show revenue growth by
20.7%, 10.5% and 124.8% respectively. Due to competitive pressure on
traditional voice telephony, there was a 5.8% decline in fixed-line
business.

    This development is also reflected in EBITDA, reinforced due to
restructuring expenses. While a decline of 51.8% to 519.5 mn EUR was
shown in fixed line business, in mobile communications it rose by
23.2% to 437.9 mn EUR due to continuing customer growth, and in data
communications by 36.5% to 59.5 mn EUR. The other business segments
showed a decline of 2.1 mn EUR to minus 0.6 mn EUR.

    The operating results of Telekom Austria Group fell from 493.7 mn
EUR to - 31.5 mn EUR, excluding restructuring expenses of 579.2 mn
EUR to 225.1 mn EUR.

    Decline of Asset Investments Within Target

    (in mn EUR)                                      2000        1999    Change in %
    Additions to property, plant
      and equipment                                917.4      983.2                -6.7

    The development of the property, plant and equipment took place
according to Group strategy, which foresees a reduction and focus of
investments on additions to property, plant and equipment. While a
reduction in fixed line business succeeded -- including data
communications and Internet -- by 14% to 594.3 mn EUR, there was an
increase in mobile communications due to capacity by 12.4% to 323.1
mn EUR.

    Employee Numbers on Target

    The measures to lower costs that have already been initiated
comprise personnel reduction, consolidation of logistic centres,
renegotiating supplier contracts, selling real estate, and improving
the procurement system. Personnel reduction went according to plan in
the year 2000. The targeted number of personnel at year-end was in
fact less by 150 employees. The final reduction of approximately
5,000 employees in fixed line business should be completed in 2005.

    Employees*                            2000                  1999    Change in %
    Fixed line                         14,982                15,722                -4.7
    Mobile communications         2,520                 2,054                22.7
    Data communications                956                    847                12.9
    Other segments                        102                      27              277.8
    Telekom Austria Group        18,560                18,650              -0,48
    * Annual average of
      full time equivalents

    Operational Highlights and Customer Development

    The ADSL Network covers Seventy-five per cent of Austria's
households and the focus on broadband continues. The first step was
successfully completed in October 2000: a powerful backbone with a
transmission capacity of 320 Gigabit/s. In addition, the tariff
reductions initiated in the year 2000 will be continued this year.

    In the year 2000 Mobilkom Austria proved its innovative
leadership, among other things with the first start worldwide of
GPRS, the start of Mobilkom Liechtenstein, development of the
Austrian network to 98% coverage, and the start with VIPonline in
Croatia. Furthermore, due to the relatively low-price of the UMTS
license there are economic advantages and excellent starting chances.

    The concentrated Internet activities led to the establishment of
Jet2Web Internet and the acquisition of Czech On Line, the largest
provider in the Czech Republic. The Internet fixed-line activities of
the Group are bundled in this company. The ORF holds a 2.5%
participating interest in Jet2Web Internet as a strategic partner.

    Datakom Austria was newly positioned as a solution provider and
has a stable number of customers.

    Through the foundation of Jet2Web Network Services GmbH in
November 2000, Telekom Austria will actively market the
infrastructure of the Telekom Austria Group to alternative telephone
and Internet providers.

    In the fixed-line area, there was a rise in traffic minutes to
15.2 bn minutes due to increased online traffic, voice traffic showed
a decreasing tendency. The development of the access channels shows a
decline in the ordinary telephone access lines, these were
compensated for by the rapid rise in ISDN offers. The absolute number
of transmission channels remained almost the same at 3,833,000 in the
year 2000. In 1999, this figure was 3,862,000. The ISDN channels
increased by 37% from 660,000 to 904,000.

    Mobilkom Austria showed an overall increase in customers of almost
40%. In addition, in a European comparison the relationship between
contract customers (=47%) and prepaid customers is particularly
positive. With a penetration of 22% in Croatia, VIP-Net has a great
potential for growth. In Austria, Mobilkom Austria will find
potential for growth primarily in the area of mobile data and mobile
Internet.

    Jet2Web Internet was able to make better use of the market growth
in the Internet segment than all other competitors in Austria. The
customer figure rose by 177% to 293,000. The market share increased
in the same time from 22% to 28%. Czech On Line almost doubled its
customer base from 95,000 to 188,000 in the past year.

    Transformation to a Full Service Provider with Broadband
Technology

    The Telekom Austria Group currently provides mobile, Internet and
fixed-line networks. In the middle of the year 2000, the new
management team set the course technologically and organisationally
for new broadband technologies on an IP basis to be used by the
customers of the entire Group. The backbone with 320 Gbit/s of
transmission capacity for the new broadband technologies xDSL, GPRS
and UMTS was put into operation. With wide coverage of broadband the
Telekom Austria Group is transforming into a full-service provider
for voice, data, image and multimedia communications. To be able to
communicate and market the cross-network products and services of the
Group efficiently, Jet2Web, the new umbrella brand of the Group, was
launched in July 2000.

    Involvement in Central Europe

    "The focal point of our strategy is to tighten up our organisation
and thus to strengthen our market leadership and competitiveness in
Austria, while abroad we are focusing on selective expansion in the
growth regions of southern and eastern Europe in the areas of mobile
communications and Internet," explains Mr. Sundt with regard to the
goals of foreign involvement of the Telekom Austria Group. "Parallel
to this Telekom Austria is utilising every opportunity offered by the
strategic partnership with Telecom Italia, as well as the resulting
synergy effects and advantages."

    Future Developments - Overview

    The Austrian telecommunications market is considered to be one of
the most liberalised within the EU, with the most competitive market
environment. In view of the relatively high number of fixed line and
mobile operators, losses in market share are a logical development of
liberalisation. The goal at Telekom Austria is to slow down losses in
market shares in the traditional areas and to stabilise them on a
strategic level. Additionally we aim to win market shares in new
fields of business, such as Internet.

    This year will be decisively marked by the successful
implementation of restructuring, which will lead to a clear
improvement in results. The focus of this transformation is
fixed-line business, where a substantial reduction in the employment
figure will take place, and relative to this, to an improvement in
the cost structure. These measures should more then balance out the
continuing pressure from the competitors.

    In mobile business the potential for growth in Croatia and -- in
view of the latest acquisition -- Slovenia will be brought into play.
In Austria, mobile penetration will reach its climax, whereby there
will be a reduction in the growth in earnings in this business
segment.

    In data business we are assuming a further growth in revenues. The
margins will be reduced due to the new positioning of Datakom Austria
and the related higher inter-Group transfer prices.

    In 2001 for the first time Internet will be shown as an individual
business segment. Parallel to being the first full business year of
Jet2Web Internet's operative activity as a full Internet service
provider, it will also have a substantial growth in revenues.

    Business Divisions

    -- Fixed Line Network: Transformation and Focus on Broadband
Technology.
         Decline in Competition Through Competition and Restructuring

    (in mn EURO)                                    2000        1999    Change in %
    Sales Revenues                            2,676.9  2,842.2                -5.8
    EBITDA                                            519.5  1,077.1              -51.8
    Operating Results                         -295.4      250.3                n.m.
    Additions to property, plant
      and equipment                                558.5      646.5              -13.6
    Employees*                                    14,982    15,722                -4.7
    * Annual Average of Full-Time Equivalents

    Operative revenues in fixed-line business declined in the year
2000, compared with the previous year by 5.8% to 2.7 bn EUR.
Contributing to the decline were primarily lower traffic tariffs by
approximately one third (809 mn EUR). The reasons for this are in the
growing competitive environment as well as in tariff cuts, above all
those from 1999. Earnings from monthly rentals could be increased by
10% to 655 mn EUR. The unfavourable market development could partly
be compensated for by higher interconnection earnings, which rose by
51.3% to 618.8 mn EUR. The greater increase by far resulted from the
increase in the volume of transit traffic via the fixed line network
of Telekom Austria in mobile and international networks.

    Excluding restructuring expenses in the amount of 254 mn EUR
(1999: 85.5 mn EUR) the EBITDA of fixed line business was reduced by
33.5% to 773.1 mn EUR. Decisive factors for this were mainly
competitive-related lower earnings. After consideration of
depreciation EBIT was reduced to minus 295 mn EUR. Restructuring
expenses contain primarily provisions for the early retirement
program. Since 1997, 2,976 employees have accepted Telekom Austria's
offer for early retirement. Regulatory measures such as carrier
preselection, also locally, assured a rapid increase in competitive
pressure. The market share was thus reduced by approximately 85% on
the average in 1999 to 63% at year-end 2000.

    Overall, at year-end Telekom Austria was responsible for 3.3
million lines. While the traditional PSTN lines continued to decline,
the number of ISDN channels increased by one third due to new lines
or changed registrations. Access lines were reduced by 0.8% to 3.8
million.

    (in thousands)                                                 2000                 1999
    PSTN access line                                         2,929.1            3,201.6
    ISDN basic access line                                  331.9                247.0
    ISDN multi access line                                      8.0                  5.6
    Total access lines                                      3,269.0            3,454.2
    ADSL access lines                                            38.5                  0.9
    Total access channels                                 3,832.9            3,862.4

    Telekom Austria's impressive pioneer role in broadband
communications can be seen in the development of the ADSL lines. At
the end of the business year 2000, just about 14 months after Telekom
Austria offered ADSL services as one of the first operators in
Europe, approximately 38,500 ADSL lines were installed, with a
transmission rate of 512/64 kibt/s (downstream/upstream). This figure
also comprises ADSL customers of other Internet service providers.  
In the past business year, for the first time Telekom Austria
exceeded the 15 billion minute mark in national fixed-line traffic,
and reached 15.2 billion minutes, after 14 billion minutes in the
year 1999. This rise can be attributed exclusively to the increase in
Internet traffic. Traffic in traditional voice telephony continues to
decline.

    The reorganisation of Marketing and Sales strengthened the
orientation of product development relative to the specific segments
and the focus on IP based services and applications. Numerous tariff
measures were initiated in the business year. Among others, the
tariffs in national voice traffic were reduced by more than 50% and
by up to 60% in some international zones. The prices for national
leased lines were reduced by up to 54%. On November 15, Telekom
Austria submitted an application to the Telekom Control Commission to
introduce tariffs with seconds-based accounting from the 30th second,
coupled with another considerable price reduction. Approval was
granted at the end of January 2001, implementation took place on
March 1, 2001.

    In October, Telekom Austria established a subsidiary, Jet2Web
Network Services, which will make network services available to other
operators in the future -- including fixed and mobile operators and
Internet service providers.

    The reduction of the additions to property, plant and equipment in
fixed line business is a central part of Telekom Austria's
transformation program. This goal could clearly be achieved with a
13.6% decline to 558.8 mn EUR in the year 2000. The simultaneous
focus on broadband technologies is reflected impressively in its
share of the investments, which rose by 18% to 42%. The well-timed
investment in broadband communications will provide Telekom Austria
with a quality of uniqueness on the European telecom market and
ensure new proceeds for the coming years.

    -- Mobile Communications: Sales Increase 21%, EBITDA +23% and
         Customers 38% - VIPNet with Positive Operating Results in the
First
         Full Business Year

    (in mn EURO)                         2000                  1999    Change in %
    Sales Revenues                 1,500.1              1,242.4                20.7
    EBITDA                                 437.9                 355.3                23.2
    Operating Results                261.1                 225.8                15.6
    Additions to property,
      plant and equipment          323.1                 287.4                12.4
    Employees*                          2,520                 2,054                22.7
    * Annual Average of Full-Time Equivalents

    The business area of mobile communications comprises the
activities of Mobilkom Austria in Austria, Croatia, Liechtenstein and
-- since February 2001 -- Slovenia. Telekom Austria AG holds 75% - 1
share of Mobilkom Austria, 25% +1 share is held by Telecom Italia
Mobile.

    This business area successfully raised its sales revenues by 20.7%
to 1.5 bn EUR. The successful activities of VIP-Net in Croatia played
a major role in this with revenues of 148,9 mn EUR (1999: 31.7 mn
EUR).

    Above all, continuing customer growth contributed to this positive
development. Traffic revenues grew by more than one third to 721 mn
EUR, those from monthly rentals by 15% to 246 mn EUR. The activities
of international calls in the Telekom Austria networks in Austria and
Croatia led to an increase of roaming revenues by 57% to over 113,7
mn EUR. Sales of equipment at 187.5 mn EUR remained almost at the
level of the previous year.

    The comparatively low rise in expenses of the business segment led
to an increase of EBITDA by 23.3% to 438 mn EUR. The rapid customer
growth of the last few years led to a rise in depreciation by 44%,
operating results increased by 15.6% to 261 mn EUR.

    Customer Development in mn        31.12.00  31.12.99  Change in %
    Contract Customers                      1,336.6  1,218.4              +9.7%
    Prepaid Customers                        1,468.7  1,041.4            +58.3%
    Total Customers
      Mobilkom Austria                        2,804.3  2,259.8            +24.1%
    VIP-Net (Croatia)                          531.4      155.1          +342.6%
    Total Customers Mobile
      Communications                          3,336.7  2,414.9            +38.2%

    There was also successful customer growth in the business area of
almost 40% to a total of over 3.3 million in Austria and Croatia over
the past year. In both countries Telekom Austria is the market
leader.

    Following the entry of a fourth network operator in the past year,
Mobilkom Austria's market share in Austria at year-end was 44.8%. The
share of contract customers at 47% is still at a positive level in an
international comparison. In the second half of the year, even 50%
more contract customers could be won than in the first half of the
year.

    A major part of the successful development in Austria can be
attributed to Mobilkom Austria's leadership in new products and
services. Some examples are location-related services (MobilGuide),
the development of information services via SMS and WAP, telematic
solutions (i.e. remote activation of car heater) and m-commerce
solutions such as Cin-e-Ticket and FlowerLine.

    With the world's first commercial GPRS network, Mobilkom Austria
took an important step in successfully opening up the mobile data
service market. The number of SMS messages rose in December 2000 to
36.6 million, as opposed to 21 million the previous year. At
year-end, Mobilkom Austria listed approximately 140,000 active WAP
users.

    The Croatian mobile subsidiary VIPNet (61% share held by Mobilkom
Austria) achieved great success: In its first full year of operative
business activity, VIPNet achieved positive operating results.
Attractive prepaid products attuned to differing customers needs and
low-priced "Friends" tariffs could satisfy the now 530,000 VIP-Net
customers. Like Mobkilkom Austria, VIP-Net is also reckoning with the
boom on data services: Since November, VIP-Net has offered fixed-line
Internet access, which customers can combine with mobile access
services.

    The increase in additions to property, plant and equipment by
12.4% to 323.1 mn EUR should be seen against the background of
capacity-oriented network expansion. The number of base stations in
Austria increased by 24% to 4,120 stations.

    On November 3, 2000, Mobilkom Austria successfully bid for two
UMTS frequency packages in the paired and two in the unpaired area
for 171.5 mn EUR. Thus, in relation to the customers in Austria, the
license fee was far below the European average.

    In the first quarter 2001 Mobilkom AG was transformed into
"Mobilkom AG und Co. KG." Therefore, taxation of the results of
Mobilkom Austria will be effected with its partners as from June 30,
2000. End of February 2001, Mobilkom Austria acquired a participation
in si.mobil in Slovenia.

    -- Data Communications: EBITDA Grows by 36.5%, New Positioning as
a
         Solution Provider

    (in mn EUR)                          2000                  1999    Change in %
    Sales Revenues                    309.0                 279.6                10.5
    EBITDA                                  59.5                  43.6                36.5
    Operating Results                 22.8                  16.0                42.5
    Additions to property,
      plant and equipment            34.2                  48.3              -29.2
    Employees*                              956                    847                12.9
    * Annual Average of Full-Time Equivalents

    The business area data communications, which comprises the
activities of the wholly-owned subsidiary Datakom Austria, achieved
revenues of 309 million EUR with a plus of over 10%. This growth can
almost exclusively be attributed to higher earnings from company
networks and to a lesser part to an increase in value-added data
services. The price decline in leased lines by 20% contributed
considerably to the rise in EBITDA of 36.5% to 59.5 mn EUR.

    At year-end 2000, Datakom Austria serviced approximately 90% of
the Austrian top 100 companies. With the development of
branch-oriented network, ASP enabling, e-commerce and security
solutions Datakom continued to expand its product offer in the
business year. Besides the development and installation of network
infrastructure, active network management and security services,
Datakom Austria continued to deepen its specialization last year in
certain market segments such as in the health and legal areas.

    Datakom Austria's competency as a provider of corporate networks
forms the basis for its new positioning as a solution provider and
system integrator of Telekom Austria. In this role Datakom Austria
offers individual solutions for key customers, which cover its entire
palette of services.

    The additions to property, plant and equipment were reduced in the
business year by 29.2% to 34.2 mn EUR. The investment emphasis was on
the expansion of the Datastream network, technical equipment in the
area of company networks as well as upgrading the Dataswitch service.

    -- Other Segments: Plus 177% Internet Customers in Austria,
Restructuring
         of Internet Business Started

    (in mn EUR)                          2000                  1999    Change in %
    Sales Revenues                      51.9                  23.1              124.7
    EBITDA                                  -0.6                    2.1                n.m.
    Operating Results                 -2.5                  -2.8                10,7
    Additions to property,
      plant and equipment              1.9                    0.9              111.1
    Employees*                              102                      27              277.8
    * Annual Average of Full-Time Equivalents

    The area other business segments comprises -- besides
international data services and other services -- earnings from
Internet business, in as far as these are not contained in another
business segment.

    On June 30, 2000, Telekom Austria AG transferred the entire
Internet private customer business to Jet2Web Internet Services GmbH.
Due to reasons of comparability, effects that result from this
transfer were left unconsidered in the annual accounts of 2000. The
business area also contains the activities of Czech On Line a.s., of
which 100% was acquired by Telekom Austria in the business year 2000.

    The sales revenues of other business segments rose in the business
year 2000 by 125% to 52 mn EUR. This rise is mainly due to the
dynamic development of Internet business, which was also reflected in
high personnel and marketing costs. In consequence EBITDA was reduced
to minus 0.6 mn EUR following 2.1 mn EUR in 1999. The operative
results amounted to minus 2.5 mn EUR (1999: minus 2.8 mn EUR).

    Telekom Austria is Austria's leading Internet service provider,
with 293,400 private and business customers. Compared to the previous
year this implies a rise of 177%. This also includes the ADSL
customers of Jet2Web Internet, a figure which has risen by 900 to
34,600 compared to the previous year. In November 1999 Telekom
Austria was one of Europe's first operators to offer this high speed
Internet access. With 18.5 million page impressions (following 7.9
million at the end of 1999) http://www.aon.at is one of the leading
Internet portals in Austria.

    Internet Customers of Jet2Web Internet          2000                 1999
    Customers via Dial-Up Access                      258,800            105,200
    ADSL customers                                              34,600                  900
    Total                                                          293,400            106,100

    Telekom Austria succeeded in implementing ideally the rise of
Internet penetration in Austria from 34% at the end of 1999 to 44% at
the end of 2000. The market share of Jet2Web Internet in Internet
private customer business rose in the same time period from 22% to
28%.

    Following the successful products A-Online Speed Alpha via PSTN
and A-Online Plus via ISDN, Jet2Web Internet brought Austria's first
ADSL self-installation product, A-Online Speed SI, to the market
before Christmas. For the business customer segment, individual
complete Internet solutions were developed and work was started in
revising the B2B portal, which is being implemented with SAP and HP.

    Telekom Austria and the Austrian Broadcasting Company, ORF, have
concluded a cooperation contract to jointly open up the potential of
broadband technology in Austria. This cooperation contract has a
minimum term of four years. The focal point is the development and
proliferation of ORF TV and radio programs via Jet2Web Internet.

    In the business year 2000 Telekom Austria acquired 100% of the
leading Internet service provider in the Czech Republic, Czech On
Line a.s. The company was founded in 1995 and operates its services
under the brand name Video On Line. The number of Czech On Line's
active users almost doubled by the end of the business year 2000 with
188,000 as opposed to 95,000 at the end of 1999. Czech On Line
additionally offers free email services and as of December 31, 2000
has over 696,000 registered users. With the start of liberalisation
of voice telephony on the Czech market, Czech On Line applied for a
fixed line license and received it in December 2000. The necessary
preparations for offering voice telephony began immediately. The
additions to property, plant and equipment of the other business
segments -- mainly for switching facilities - doubled in the business
year 2000 to 1.9 mn EUR.

    During the first quarter 2001 Jet2Web Internet increased its
market share to 32% through the acquisition of 70,000 lion.cc
customers. The ORF enlarged its cooperation through a 2.5%
participation in Jet2Web Internet.

ots Original Text Service: Telekom Austria
Internet: wwwnewsaktuell.ch

Contact: Financial Community - Hans Fruhmann, IR, National: +059-059-1-20917, International: +43-59095-1-20917; Communications: Martin Bredl, CM, +059-059-1-11001, National: +059059-1-11001, International: +43-59059-1-11001,both of Telekom Austria Group

Internet: www.aon.at



Weitere Meldungen: Telekom Austria AG

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