Lattice To Withdraw From UK Telecom Industry

Lattice Group, the owner of the UK's natural gas network, said that it may seek a buyer for its broadband unit after a two hundred and fifty million pound ($364 million) write down led it to a loss in the three months through to March. The company had a net loss of 157 million pounds, compared with a profit of 288 million pounds in the same period a year ago. The 186k broadband unit is now worth “just under” a hundred million pounds, said the Chairman of the group, John Parker, during a conference call. Lattice, which last month agreed to be bought by National Grid Group for $18 billion, is the latest UK utility to withdraw from telecommunications after failing to compete with bigger rivals such as British Telecommunications Group. “There's no real surprise with the write-down,” said Philip Green, an analyst at Goldman Sachs in London “The markets in telecoms have gone and we'd written it off long ago.”

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