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July 29, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Announcing its figures yesterday, state-owned Telecom Eireann said it will report to the Irish Minister for Transport, Energy & Communications on the issue of strategic alliances and the options available to it. It has written to more than 30 potential partners worldwide, all of which have replied. Cable & Wireless Plc has of course expressed an interest in a strategic alliance or joint venture. The phone company reported pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 down 13.8% at the equivalent of $52.5m on turnover up 7% to $565m. It says it has cut debt by $37m to $609m, provided a $18.16 dividend to the state and invested $106.4m on its networks. Reducing costs, responding to competition and dealing with the increasing global nature of telecommunications business remain major strategic issues: the two principal costs it is addressing are payroll and debt redemption. It admits its current debt, $609m, is excessively high. Total calls made grew 4%, mainly because of the increase in international traffic, up 9%, and trunk calls, up 13%, but the number of local calls fell 2%. International calls on some routes grew by up to 70% after price changes. It now has 1.17m lines and its mobile service grew to 61,000 subscribers.

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