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Cable and Wireless 1H Profit Climbs

Cable and Wireless PLC said Tuesday its profit more than tripled in the first half and announced the surprise departure of the head of its international division.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Cable and Wireless PLC said Tuesday its profit more than tripled in the first half and announced the surprise departure of the head of its international division.

The communications company also raised its guidance for underlying profit for Europe, Asia and the United States.

Cable and Wireless earned 104 million pounds ($215.1 million) for the six months ending Sept. 30, compared to 31 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue fell 9 percent to 1.56 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) as the company concentrated on larger customers with higher margin IP services while actively shedding lower margin customers. The company also suffered from the weak U.S. dollar, in which it earns most of its international revenue.

The company said that Harris Jones was stepping down as chief executive of the international division and as a director.

John Pluthero was appointed executive chairman of the international division, while continuing in the same role in the Europe, Asia and U.S. division.

Cable & Wireless split itself into two separate units last year and unveiled plans to restructure its British business, cutting jobs and expanding overseas to make up for a drop in traditional voice sales.

The group raised its guidance to 35 million pounds ($72.4 million) for underlying profit for Europe, Asia and the United States to between 205 million pounds and 215 million ounds for the year.

"Its been another good six months," said Chairman Richard Lapthorne. "The Europe, Asia and U.S. turnaround is ahead of our own, and market, expectations with the successful execution of our strategy clearly visible" in gross margin and profit before interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization charges.

The company's shares lost 1.6 percent to close at 177.10 pence ($3.68) Tuesday in London.

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On the Net:

Cable and Wireless, http://www.cw.com/new/