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Brexit vote hits Deutsche Telekom profits

German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom said Thursday net profits fell in 2016 following a depreciation in its stake in Britain’s BT in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote.

Net profits were down 18 percent to 2.67 billion euros ($2.8 billion), the company said. Analysts had been expecting it to post a profit of 4.54 billion euros.

The main factor hitting profits was a 2.2-billion-euro loss from its 12-percent stake in BT “mainly as a result of declines in the BT share price and in the pound sterling following the Brexit referendum,” the German group said.

Deutsche Telekom stressed that the dip in profits would not affect its payout of shareholder dividends.

Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union took the global markets completely by surprise, sparking lingering uncertainty and unease over London’s future relationship with Brussels.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to formally activate the divorce proceedings later this month, starting a two-year process.

esp/hmw/ric

© Agence France-Presse

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