Tuesday, October 26, 2004

When the going gets tough, the tough move the goalposts

Tele2, who suffered some brutal treatment at the hands of the market after last week's Q2 results, have announced a reshuffle of reporting lines, moving the UK and Irish operations from the Southern Europe division into a newly defined UK & Benelux region (http://www.waymaker.se/bitonline/2004/10/26/20041026BIT20650/10262065.htm). My six year-old's world map (and the miserable climate here) have always indicated that the British Isles are not in Southern Europe, but Tele2 has previously argued that the classification was more to do with market dynamics than actual physical location (on this basis perhaps markets should be delineated by average customer height or national costume). Interestingly, Southern Europe was the most disappointing element of last week's results. However, in light of the fact that Tele2 has never issued any meaningful information on the UK market, or any other specific country market, and also just made a radical reshuffle of reporting lines in Q1 of this year, unravelling the underlying performance of the business is guesswork.

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