Verizon closes in on Cingular

An $18 billion Q2

Verizon booked $2.11bn of profit on revenues of $18.57bn in 2Q. As an added bonus, CEO Ivan Seidenberg didn't make any howlers - but then he left the talking to his CFO.

The $1.6bn sale of Verizon's Hawaiian business added $330m to the bottom line in the quarter ending June 30.

Verizon's jointly-owned mobile network, Verizon Wireless, took the credit for the quarter, adding 1.9m subscribers in the three months. The group saw revenue of $7.8bn, up 15 per cent on a year ago, and not far behind the wireline group, which, while still the largest part of Verizon, continues to slip.

Wireline has lost over half a million subscribers, or 5.5 per cent of its existing business. DSL and cable continue to grow, however, up 44 per cent from a year ago with 4.1m accounts signed up.

"We're growing vertically instead of horizontally," said CFO Doreen Toben.

Verizon Wireless now boasts 47.4m subscribers, just behind Cingular which reported its numbers last week. Cingular has 49.1m users, but Verizon can claim lower churn (1.01pc of retail postpaid) and ARPU of $49.42, a shade under the leader.

In a conference call, CEO Ivan Seidenberg credited the cellular growth to a refreshed plans and new handsets coming on stream.

Verizon hopes to wrap up the acquisition of MCI - the most tedious acquisition merger of the year - by the end of the year. ®

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