BT's American partner lifts profits

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The Independent Online
THE LONG distance telephone company MCI Communications Corporation, in which BT has agreed to take a 20 per cent stake, yesterday reported a 16 per cent increase in traffic for the fourth quarter over the same period in 1992, boosting total revenues to dollars 3.13bn ( pounds 2.1bn).

Operating profits rose by 24 per cent to dollars 199m, though a previously announced restructuring charge meant that net income fell to dollars 107m from dollars 160m.

Full-year revenue at MCI stood at dollars 11.9bn, an increase of 13 per cent over 1992, making for full-year net earnings of dollars 582m. MCI's chairman, Bert Roberts, said its core businesses had delivered outstanding results and noted that the company had doubled in size in only five years.

MCI is the main rival to AT&T, which dominates the US market for international and long distance calls. The alliance with BT, which is paying dollars 4.3bn for its stake, is aimed at providing global services to multinational companies.

Yesterday AT&T announced its own results for the fourth quarter, which showed a revenue increase of 5.5 per cent over the same period in 1992 to dollars 18.46bn. This translated into operating earnings of dollars 1.15bn, though previously announced restructuring charges reduced net income to dollars 982m for the quarter.

For the whole of 1993 AT&T had operating profits of dollars 4.26bn on total revenues of dollars 67.16bn. However, a previously announced charge relating to accounting changes for future employee retirement benefit schemes meant that it turned in a full year loss of dollars 3.79bn.