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United Internet H1 EBIT Rises; Cuts FY Sales Outlook

United Internet (UDIRF.PK) reported that its earnings before interest and taxes or EBIT for the first half of 2019 rose by 4.5% to 390.8 million euros from 373.8 million euros in the prior year.

But, earnings per share fell to 0.84 euros from 0.91 euros last year. This was due to non-cash impairment charges on shares held in Tele Columbus of -34.2 million euros as a result of closing-date effects.

Earnings per share before PPA writedowns rose to 1.25 euros from 1.16 euros last year.

Consolidated sales grew by 1.1% to 2.58 billion euros from 2.55 billion euros in the previous year.

The company updated its sales guidance for the fiscal year 2019, due in particular to weaker sales in the company's (low-margin) hardware business and increased demand for LTE mobile tariffs among existing customers during the year.

Adjusted for hardware, sales are now expected to rise by about 3%. Including hardware sales, total sales are expected to increase by about 2%. It was previously expected about 4% growth in total sales.

The Management Board updated its EBITDA guidance to growth of about 11% instead of previously about 12% (or about 7% instead of previously about 8% according to IFRS 15).

The company resolved to launch a new share buyback program. It will buy back up to 6 million shares. The volume of the share buyback program amounts to 192.0 million euros in total. The program is to be launched on August 16, 2019 and will be completed by March 31, 2020 by buying shares back via the stock exchange.

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