Deutsche Telekom targets U.S. top spot

BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) boss Tim Hoettges has his sights on becoming market leader in the United States, setting a high bar for U.S. unit T-Mobile (TMUS.O) after its $23 billion takeover of Sprint.

“We will become No.1 in the United States,” Hoettges said in a bullish speech to Deutsche Telekom’s annual general meeting on Friday, held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hoettges also pledged that Deutsche Telekom would become the No.1 fibre-optic company in Germany and Europe as well as the leader in next-generation 5G networks.

The U.S. merger completed in April has cemented T-Mobile’s position as the country’s No.3 wireless provider behind AT&T (T.N) and Verizon (VZ.N).

Hoettges also confirmed Deutsche Telekom’s guidance for this year, emphasising the group’s resilience in the face of the pandemic. He added that its outlook would be updated during the second quarter to account for the U.S. deal.

“We want to continue growing,” he said. “In terms of revenue. In terms of earnings from operations. And in terms of free cash flow.”

Deutsche Telekom has forecast core profit this year of 25.5 billion euros ($28.6 billion) and proposed a 2019 dividend of 0.60 euros.

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