Royal KPN NV, the Netherlands' largest telecommunications company, says profits fell again in the first quarter as it continues to repair damage done by mobile customers with smart phones using cheaper Skype and WhatsApp messaging services on KPN's mobile Internet.
Net profit was (EURO)288 million ($379 million) for the quarter, down from (EURO)591 million a year ago, when it had a one-off tax windfall of (EURO)150 million.
KPN spent (EURO)80 million more on investment and restructuring during the quarter and earnings were lower in the Dutch mobile business, where KPN hiked Internet prices after the Dutch parliament said the company could not block Skype or charge customers extra for using it.
KPN, along with competitors Vodafone PLC and Deutsche Telekom AG, responded by hiking prices on their Internet data plans almost simultaneously -- and they are now all under investigation for alleged price-fixing.
Company revenues were down 1.4 percent to (EURO)3.19 billion in the quarter, with Dutch mobile revenues 11 percent lower. Earnings at KPN's German operations, where it is the third largest mobile operator, were more or less flat.
Chief Executive Eelco Blok, who has forecast a fall in earnings this year, said things are going "according to plan."
But he added that the current financial performance of the company "is not in line with our medium to longer term ambition."
The company will cut at least 4,000 jobs by the end of 2013 -- two years earlier than planned. KPN employed around 31,000 at the end of 2012.