Bonn-based telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom confident of further growth

Bonn · Deutsche Telekom is connecting more and more households in Germany to the fiber optic network, it’s nearly eight million customers now. Yet some are still hesitant to book one of the fiber-optic tariffs.

Presented the financial results for 2023: Deutsche Telekom CFO Christian Illek and CEO Timotheus Höttges.

Presented the financial results for 2023: Deutsche Telekom CFO Christian Illek and CEO Timotheus Höttges.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Deutsche Telekom connected around 2.5 million new households in Germany to the fiber-optic network in 2023. The total is just under eight million households now. "In 2024, we will surpass the ten million mark," said Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges at his company's annual press conference.

"In the long term, nationwide coverage with the networks of the future is crucial for the future viability of our business location," said Höttges. However, customers are still reacting rather hesitantly to the connections with higher bandwidth: only one million customers have actually booked a fiber-optic tariff with Telekom. "We now need to improve the marketing of fiber optic products," said Höttges. Customers need to be convinced even more of the benefits. He anticipates that it will be possible to convince 30 to 40 percent of connected customers to opt for a fiber optic tariff in the future. It is too late to only start expanding fiber optics when the data demand is there. "We have now reached the pace of expansion that we will continue in the coming years," said Höttges.

"Delivered with our usual reliability”

Höttges was satisfied with the business numbers for the past year: "In a world with many challenges, we again delivered with our usual reliability in 2023." Thanks to growing business on both sides of the Atlantic, Deutsche Telekom is confident of higher growth in 2024.

Affected by exchange rate changes and lower terminal equipment sales, Deutsche Telekom's Group revenue fell by 2.1 percent to just under 112 billion euros last year. In organic terms - i.e. excluding the impact of changes in exchange rates and consolidated parts of the company - revenue rose by 0.6 percent to 112 billion euros.

Operating profit (EBITDA AL), which excludes exchange rate effects, recorded an increase of four percent to 40.5 billion euros. At 17.8 billion euros, Group net profit was more than twice as high as in 2022, driven primarily by the proceeds from the sale of the majority of the GD Towers radio tower business in Germany and Austria. Looking at the fourth quarter of 2023 alone, there was a loss of one billion euros, mainly due to interest-related impairments on the remaining stake in GD Towers. At 7.9 billion euros, adjusted Group net profit in 2023 was 12.6% below the previous year's figure, negatively impacted by one-off effects in the other financial results.

CFO Christian Illek expressed hope for the business customer pillar T-Systems, which has been the Group's problem child for years and has been under the new management of Ferri Abolhassan since the beginning of the year. Revenue there increased organically by 5.3 percent to 3.9 billion euros in 2023. Adjusted EBITDA increased organically by ten percent to 321 million euros for the year as a whole and there was a positive cash inflow. Illek also expects that T-Systems' earnings will no longer need to be supported by other units in the Group this year. However, incoming orders in 2023 fell organically by 4.9 percent to 3.6 billion euros.

Orig. text: Claudia Mahnke

Translation: ck

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