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Magyar Telekom shareholders approve HUF 77 bln dividend

Shareholders of Magyar Telekom approved a proposal to pay a HUF 77.05 billion dividend on 2008 profits and place HUF 21.57 billion into profit reserves at an annual general meeting.

The dividend works out to HUF 74 per share, the same as that approved by shareholders a year earlier, when the company had to dip into profit reserves to pay it.

Shareholders also approved the IFRS P+L statement showing after-tax profit of HUF 105.6 billion and the balance sheet with total assets of HUF 1,168.9 billion. The Hungarian Accounting Standards P+L statement showed after-tax profit of HUF 98.6 billion and the balance sheet showed total assets of HUF 965.3 billion.

Magyar Telekom plans to spend HUF 40 billion on next generation networks between 2009 and 2013, CEO Christopher Mattheisen told shareholders at the AGM

Last year, Magyar Telekom cut staff by 15%, laying off about 1,800 people, Mattheisen said. This year the company plans to lay off about 300 staff. The resulting cost savings will reach an annual HUF 1.8 billion this year.

Magyar Telekom's headcount was 10,439 at the end of 2008.

Mattheisen reiterated that revenue is expected to drop 1% in 2009 because of the effects of the recession. EBITDA is seen dropping 1%-2%, but CAPEX will remain level with 2008.

Company officials declined to answer when a small shareholder asked how much an ongoing investigation of questionable contracts at Magyar Telekom's foreign units would cost the company in 2009. The company has so far spent a combined HUF 15.2 billion on investigation-related costs, an official said.

Shareholders picked PricewaterhouseCoopers as the company's auditor for net HUF 89 million+5%.

Shareholders with 67.2% of voting rights were present at the meeting. (MTI – Econews)