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TNT Express reports further loss, plans disposals

The logo of TNT is seen in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands March 19, 2012. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos
The logo of TNT is seen in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands March 19, 2012. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos

By Sara Webb

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - TNT Express , whose $7 billion takeover by United Parcel Service was blocked last month, reported a fourth-quarter loss on Monday and said it was looking to sell troubled businesses in Brazil and China.

The collapse of the UPS deal leaves the Dutch express delivery firm having to confront a weak European market on its own.

It reported a net loss for the final quarter of 2012 of 148 million euros ($197.59 million), down from a loss of 173 million euros a year ago on flat revenue of 1.86 billion euros, while analysts had on average forecast a net profit of 32.2 million euros on revenue of 1.886 billion euros.

The shares were down 1 percent after the results at 5.49 euros.

"There are many positive actions we can take to improve profitability and we look forward to providing a full update on 25 March," Bernard Bot, interim chief executive, said in a statement.

He also said the company was looking to make disposals abroad.

"Divestment opportunities for our domestic activities in Brazil and China are being secured," he said, adding that the outcome for China would be known soon.

TNT Express faces an uncertain future. It has cut capacity in Europe because of weak demand, was hit by restructuring problems in Brazil, and is seen as a minor player in China. Its chief executive quit soon after UPS made its offer in March 2012.

TNT Express was partially split from Dutch postal operator PostNL in May 2011 in an attempt to profit from express operations as traditional mail business declines.

But its weak performance quickly prompted activist shareholders to call for a management shake-up or an outright sale, pushing TNT Express into the arms of UPS only to have EU competition regulators block the marriage.

The Dutch firm, which received a 200 million euro break-up fee from UPS this month, said on Monday it took 120 million euros in one-off charges and impairments, mainly on its domestic China and India businesses, and on the value of its freight aircraft. ($1=0.7490 euros)

(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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