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BellSouth Q4 disappoints

Profits halved

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US telco Bellsouth brought in Q4 revenues of $5.15bn, in the last three months of 2004, up 0.8 percent on Q4 03, but profits took a tailspin to $496m (Q4 03:$836m).

BellSouth blamed hurricane damage, "severance-related expenses" and changes to retirement healthcare schemes for the shortfall. It was also hit by merger costs incurred by Cingular in its takeover of AT&T Wireless.

Earnings related to Cingular fell due to: "seasonal decline in roaming revenue, high gross customer additions, costs associated with incrementally higher customer upgrades and increased depreciation expense".

BellSouth added 224,000 DSL customers in the last quarter of the year - giving it 2.1m broadband customers in total. This helped offset losses from ordinary access lines. Network data revenue for the three months was $1.16bn, up 6.5 per cent on the same period last year. The telco also added 467,000 net long distance customers - giving it 6.1m long distance customers. ®

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