C&WW tells shareholders to grab Vodafone's £1bn offer

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The Independent Online

The telecoms company Cable & Wireless Worldwide yesterday urged its shareholders to seek shelter from "challenging" conditions in rival Vodafone's £1bn offer after a fresh profit blow.

C&WW, which has hit the market with a string of profit warnings in the past two years, recommended Vodafone's 38p-a-share offer in April. The company posted a disappointing 14 per cent slide in underlying earnings to £378m in the year to 31 March, and said there was less risk in taking the money than efforts to turn things around.

A turbulent year for the company, which saw chief executive John Pluthero quit last November, has seen margins squeezed by competition as well as caution from clients in committing to new projects.

Profits in its traditional telephony operations were down £22m year on year and it is braced for the market to fall more than 10 per cent a year.