Cable&Wireless’s Caribbean business stabilises

CWC has seen its share price tumble on fears over growing competition in the Caribbean, which still accounts for more than a quarter of revenues.

But shares in the telecoms business, which split away from the UK side of CWC last year, rallied 16 per cent yesterday after chief executive Tony Rice said the Caribbean arm is on course to hit estimates of underlying profits of between US$180 to 210 million (£113 million to £131 million) for the full year.

Elsewhere, mobile sales were driving growth, with Macau, in China, seeing revenues double to US$151 million (£94 million) as sales of Apple’s iPhones surged. The group added that smart devices now account for 19 per cent of its total subscriber base.

Meanwhile, CWC reported a 30 per cent fall in pre-tax profits for the period to US$145 million (£90 million) though the dividend was maintained at 2.67 US cents (1.7p).

Analysts said the figures were above expectations and Macau and the Monaco and Island divisions did well, but there was little evidence of a turnaround in the all-important Caribbean operations.

Steve Malcom, an analyst at broker Evolution, said that below the headlines the picture was not as encouraging with rising debt and “a dogmatic commitment to a chronically uncovered dividend.”

Net debt at the end of the end of September was US$1.43 billion (£894 million).

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