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Monday, May 17, 2010

Financial Times, Wall Street Journal

BT extends fiber rollout, shares surge on dividend pledge
BT said it plans to invest an additional GBP1 billion in extending the rollout of fiber-optic lines to around two-thirds of UK premises by 2015. CEO Ian Livingston said, “We are on track with our goal of creating a better business with a better future.” He expects overall revenue and earnings to improve even as the company invests in its business and reduces debt. Shares jumped almost 11 percent on Thursday after the company pledged a dividend increase over the next three years. BT posted a profit of GBP208 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, aided by a seven-percent decline in operating costs mainly due to reduced customer service and labor costs. Revenue fell two percent to GBP5.36 billion.
Financial Times, Wall Street Journal
Telefónica pushes for Vivo stake
On Thursday Telefónica increased pressure on Portugal Telecom to accept Monday’s EUR5.7 billion offer for its shares in Vivo, urging the board to put the deal to shareholders. The company said first-quarter net profit was up two percent, to EUR1.66 billion. Revenue grew by 1.7 percent, to EUR13.9 billion, with recovery noted in Europe outside of Spain where high unemployment and consumer uncertainty resulted in a nearly four-percent decline from the same period a year ago. Telefónica said sales in Latin America moved forward four percent despite currency devaluation in Venezuela.

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