TDC Reports Higher First Half Earnings

(Reuters) – Danish telecom operator TDC (TDC.CO), tipped as a candidate for a big stock offering, announced higher first-half profits on Friday, helped by subscriber growth and currency movements.

Revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose in TDC’s Nordic business and its Swiss unit Sunrise, despite limited organic market growth and price competition, which further intensified during the year, the company said.

“Our customer base is also continuing to grow year-on-year, driven by TV and mobility services,” it said.

By the end of the first half of 2010, the TDC Group had 11.6 million customers, up 2.1 percent from the first half of 2009, the company said. Six-month EBITDA rose 6.4 percent from the same period a year ago to 6.7 billion Danish crowns ($1.15 billion), while the top line grew 2.2 percent, TDC said.

The company, which is controlled by private equity investment firms, stood by its previous guidance for the full year of 1 to 3 percent revenue growth and 3 to 4 percent EBITDA growth.

TDC’s main owners, with nearly 88 percent of the stock, are private-equity groups Apax Partners, Blackstone Group (BX.N), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts [KKR.UL], Permira Advisers [PERM.UL] and Providence Equity Partners.

In November 2009 TDC announced that its main owners had begun reviewing “strategic alternatives” for the group, which was widely interpreted as a signal that they were preparing a stock offering of the company they bought out in 2006.

The TDC report did not provide new information about the owners’ intentions. (Reporting by John Acher; Editing by Will Waterman) ($1=5.811 Danish Crown)