Deutsche Telekom CFO Thomas Dannenfeldt has lamented the decline of the operator’s share price as he prepares to leave the company.
Dannenfeldt will step down in December after 26 years, Deutsche Telekom confirmed, as it unveiled rising revenues and profits for 2017, alongside a contract extension for CEO Tim Höttges.
Answering journalists’ questions about the financial performance, Dannenfeldt said his mood correlated with the telco’s share price, which dropped 13 percent in 2017 and has fallen a further 10 percent since the turn of this year, to €13.29.
“It kind of bums us out,” he added.
The CFO put the fall down to several factors, including the fact that all European operators are trading at a 15-year low.
He said foreign investors in particular were “unsettled” by the current regulatory environment and that Deutsche Telekom was investing more than its competitors.
Capex rose 10.4 percent to €12.1 billion in 2017, excluding mobile spectrum, as the company rolls out fibre in its home market.
However, Dannenfeldt said he remained convinced that the investments would pay off in the medium to long term.
The discussion about the share price came as revenues rose 2.5 percent to €74.95 billion in 2017.
Deutsche Telekom recorded growth across its consumer footprint, led by T-Mobile US.
The American opco saw sales grow 5.9 percent to €35.74 billion as it added 1.1 million mobile customers during the year to 72.6 million.
In Germany, sales ticked up 0.7 percent to €21.77 billion after it added 1.3 million mobile subscribers and 287,000 fibre customers.
In the rest of Europe, revenues rose 1.2 percent to €11.59 billion.
T-Systems, which is currently undergoing a restructure under new boss Adel Al-Saleh, saw sales decline 1.1 percent to €6.92 billion.
The overall growth in revenues helped to push EBITDA up 6.3 percent to €23.97 billion, while net profit grew by €800 million to €3.5 billion, partly due to a positive non-recurring effect from the tax reform in the US.
The positive results led the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom to extend Höttges’ contract for another five years.
Ulrich Lehner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board said: "Tim Höttges has done a tremendous job since he has taken office in 2014.
“He has led Deutsche Telekom back to a growth path and to the position of leading European telco.”
Dannenfeldt will be replaced as CFO by the operator’s current Human Resources head Christian Illek.
Dannenfeldt said: "After 26 years with the company and five years as CFO, I will take a longer break and then reorientate myself.
“It has always been my plan to do something different around my 50th birthday.”