FRANKFURT Feb 22 Telefonica Deutschland
raised its target for synergies from its acquisition
of E-Plus, after reporting better-than-expected core profit for
the fourth quarter.
The company, which bought E-Plus for 8.6 billion euros
($9.1 billion) in 2014, said it expected to reap annual benefits
of 900 million euros by 2019, up from a previous forecast for
"The company could identify potential additional synergies
during the integration, including cost reductions,
infrastructure optimization ... as well as synergies from
investments in its LTE network," Telefonica Deutschland said in
its statement on Wednesday.
The company, controlled by Spain's Telefonica, said
fourth-quarter operating income before depreciation and
amortisation (OIBDA), excluding special items, rose 5.3 percent
to 501 million euros, better then the average expectation of 480
million euros in a Reuters poll.
Fourth-quarter sales dropped 6 percent to 1.94 billion
euros. The telecoms operator said it expected core profit to
rise by as much as a mid-single digit percentage in 2017.
It proposed a dividend of 0.25 euros per share for 2016 and
confirmed its guidance for a further rise of dividend payments
in each of the next two years.
Wireless service revenues dropped by 2.1 percent to 1.35
billion euros in the fourth quarter as "intensive competition"
in the segment persisted, the company said.
In 2017, Telefonica Deutschland expects its wireless service
revenues to decline slightly or come in flat compared with last
($1 = 0.9483 euros)
(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Maria Sheahan)