C&W Remains United

1:15 PM -- The global economy has put the brakes on Cable and Wireless plc (NYSE: CWP)'s plans to break itself into two separate operations.

The carrier has long had plans to demerge its core Europe/Asia/U.S. business, which it recently expanded with the acquisition of U.K. business services player Thus. (See C&W Offers £329M for THUS.)

Such a move would create two separate listed companies, the other being its International (Caribbean, Panama, Macau, and Monaco & Islands) business, which delivers about 40 percent of its sales.

But it noted today in its interim financial report that the current volatility of the global financial markets "provide no basis for proper financial planning. Consequently, we have postponed a final decision on value realisation..." (See C&W Reports H1 Interims.)

The delay doesn't seem to be having an adverse impact on the carrier.

C&W reported revenues of £1.65 billion ($2.6 billion), up 5 percent, for the first half of its 2008/2009 fiscal year. In addition it reported an increase in post-tax profit of 72 percent, an interim dividend, and improved earnings guidance for the full year.

All of which helped the carrier's share price add 7.3 pence, an increase of 5.4 percent, to close the day at 142 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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