July 27, 2020 / 6:40 AM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-Dutch telco KPN expects stable profits over 2020 despite COVID-19

(Adds CEO quote, more detail)

AMSTERDAM, July 27 (Reuters) - Dutch telecom company KPN said on Monday it expected its core profit remain stable over 2020, as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its results were less dramatic than feared in recent months.

KPN said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 1.5% to 585 million euros ($684.2 million) in the second quarter, while sales slipped almost 5% to 1.29 billion euros.

Adjusted EBITDA beat the average forecast for a drop to 576 million euros forecast by analysts in a company-compiled poll, while sales were in line with expectations.

“We delivered a robust performance in the second quarter ...despite the challenges related to COVID-19”, Chief Executive Joost Farwerck said in a statement.

“Over the first half year KPN has proven to be resilient.”

Its first-half results meant that KPN could stick to its original outlook for “stable to slightly growing” core profits over 2020, after it had warned in April it might have to lower its expectations.

KPN also held on to its forecast for a dividend of at least 0.13 euros per share for 2020, and underlined this by promising shareholders an interim payout of 0.043 euros per share next month. ($1 = 0.8550 euros) (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Kim Coghill and Louise Heavens)

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