Euronews: Telefónica Cancels Dividends

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), ARM Ltd. and British Sky Broadcasting Group plc release a flood of financials in today's wade through the EMEA headlines.

  • In the face of a 34.4 percent year-on-year fall in half-year net profits -- to €2.07 billion (US$2.5 billion) -- and a generally challenging trading environment, Telefónica has announced it is canceling all dividends and share buybacks for 2012 and cutting the pay of its board directors by 20 percent and its management team executives by 30 percent. The news sent Telefónica's share price on the Madrid stock exchange down by 5.2 percent to €8.21. (See Telefónica Reports Q2 Profit of €1.33B, Euronews: Layoff Costs Tear Into Telefonica's Q3 and Telefonica Holds Key to Digital Model.)

  • Not quite so grim at France Telecom, which, according to Bloomberg, did slightly better than expected by recording a 3.2 percent decline in half-year revenues to €21.8 billion ($26.4 billion). Analysts feared the worst following the initial success of low-cost upstart Free Mobile 's entry into the market. (See France Telecom Reports H1 Profit of €1.9B, Euronews: FT's Q1 Suffers Free Fall and Euronews: Iliad's Clogging Our Network, Says FT.)

  • Things aren't getting any better at AlcaLu. The company, which reported a second quarter net loss of €254 million ($309 million), is axing 5,000 jobs as part of a new cost-cutting plan. (See Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 5,000 Jobs.)

  • Half-year profits at ARM, the U.K.-based firm that supplies the designs for chips that go into the iPhone and many other devices, saw profits rise to £96.4 million ($149.5 million) from £78.2 million ($121.2 million) a year earlier.

  • BSkyB, the U.K.-based satellite TV broadcaster and broadband services provider, notched up a 14 percent year-on-year rise in full-year operating profits to £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion). Earlier this month the company launched Now TV, a subscription-free Internet TV service that is seen as a rival to Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and LOVEFiLM International Ltd. (See BSkyB Reports Full-Year Profit Growth.)

  • And finally, as the London Olympics prepares for its official opening on Friday, the Games website is making it clear that along with ceremonial daggers, pepper sprays and a host of other nasties, 3G wireless hubs are on the "prohibited items" list for London 2012 venues. Spoilsports.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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