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Telkom forecasts big hike in profit

Johannesburg - Fixed-line operator Telkom SA said on Thursday full-year earnings likely rose more than nine-fold, following a raft of belt-tightening initiatives and a hefty writedown last year.

Telkom said headline earnings, the main measure of profitability in South Africa, likely totalled 772 to 789 cents a share in the year to end-March, from a restated 86.2 cents per share a year earlier.

Picture: Leon Nicholas. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

The company, which has been on an aggressive turnaround strategy under chief executive Sipho Maseko, said it was helped by a one-time tax benefit and after last year's earnings were weighed down by a 12 billion rand writedown.

It also said it benefited from a decrease in mobile termination rates, after South Africa's telecoms regulator required operators to reduce the fees they charge one another to connect calls across networks.

Telkom restated its 2013 earnings after adopting new accounting standards and after discontinuing operations of a subsidiary.

Its shares had jumped nearly 6 percent to 38.53 rand as at 10:49 SA time, compared with a 0.2 percent decline by Johannesburg's All-share index. - Reuters

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