Deutsche Telekom reports Q4 loss

Deutsche Telekom posted a smaller loss in its fourth quarter and its business was stabilizing after many quarters of declines caused by an exodus of fixed-line customers, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted CEO Rene Obermann as saying that '2007 was not an easy year, but it was a very successful year.'

'2008 won't be an easy year either, there's no question. Competition has an unbroken dynamic, but we've substantially improved our competitive ability in the last year, and that gives us confidence for the coming year,' the executive was further quoted as saying.

The company lost 757 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the October-December period, narrower than its loss of 898 million euros a year earlier, the report said.

Sales slipped to 15.8 billion euros ($23.7 billion) from 15.9 billion euros a year earlier, the Associated Press report added.

The company said that excluding a big charge for reducing its work force, it had an adjusted profit of 808 million euros ($1.2 billion) for the fourth quarter, about 2% lower than the 824 million euros it earned a year earlier, but well above the 609 million euros ($916.2 million) that analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast.

The adjusted profit does not include the 1.4 billion euros ($2.1 billion) it spent in shedding jobs and paying early retirement allowances.

The company is in the midst of cutting 32,000 jobs as it works to streamline its operations in order to better compete with rivals in Europe, the US and elsewhere, the report said.