KPN will meet expectations

KPN, the Dutch telecoms operator, reported earnings that met expectations and said the economic downturn had yet to affect it materially, according to the Financial Times.

The group said it would stick to revenue and profitability targets by 2010 that were put in place in 2007.

KPN's net profit for the fourth-quarter fell to €297 million ($391 million) from €1.58 billion a year earlier when the result included a €1.2 billion tax gain. Free cash flow rose to €984m from €524m and KPN said it would return about €2 billion to shareholders this year, as it did last year, through share buybacks and dividends, the FT reports.

The group beat a target of keeping 2008 earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation at its main Netherlands business flat after years of decline as fixed line subscribers moved to competitors. It has cut costs in that core of its business while offering broadband internet, TV and mobile services that can be bundled with phone lines.