Alaska Communications System reports $25.5 million loss

Posted: Wednesday, April 05, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska Communications System Group Inc., a major Alaska telephone company, reported a loss of $25.5 million for the portion of 1999 that it operated.

The telephone companies in Anchorage, Fairbanks and around the state that ACS bought last spring had a $23 million profit in 1998, according to the company's annual report.

The company blamed the loss on interest expense, which totaled $40 million since last May, compared with $13 million in 1998 for the phone companies bought.

ACS took on $612 million in debt to buy the phone companies in May.

The company's revenue from May on was $194 million, and for the entire year the companies ACS owned had $301 million in revenue, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

Of that revenue, 83 percent came from local phone service, with 12 percent from cellular phones and 5 percent from other sources. Those were about the same percentages as a year earlier.

The company's cash flow from operations was $44 million last year.

ACS owns phone companies in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and dozens of other Alaska towns, as well as cellular and long-distance phone businesses and an Internet service provider.

In September it bought a majority interest in Alaskan Choice Television, an Anchorage-based pay-TV service, for $1.9 million, the annual report said. On Feb. 14, it bought the remaining one-third interest for $3 million.

ACS' stock is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ALSK.

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