Completion of long-range projects in Germany and a cut in its workforce helped Deutsche Telekom AG, Europe’s largest telecommunications company, to its highest revenues in five years, the firm’s leading officers said Monday.

Presenting its annual report in person in Tokyo for the second year in a row, Chairman Ron Sommer reaffirmed Deutsche Telekom’s commitment to Japan and Asia, saying “how important for us the Japanese market and the relationship to our investors in Japan is.”

In 1997 Deutsche Telekom posted a 7 percent increase in revenues to 4.885 trillion yen, according to its annual report. The firm’s pretax profits rose 8.8 percent to 520 billion yen, and net profits jumped 87.9 percent to 238.473 billion yen.

Joachim Kroeske, the firm’s chief financial officer, told the audience of about 50 that the firm’s good results were helped by a workforce reduction of 10,000 people. The group ultimately hopes to slim down to 170,000 employees in 2000 from the some 230,000 it had in 1995.

In addition, Kroeske said completion of one-time domestic telecommunications projects, namely the “digitization of Germany” and the telecommunications infrastructure of the former East Germany, was another important factor.

However, the financial and economic crisis in Southeast Asia caused high losses for the company and for Global One, its international joint venture with France Telecom and Sprint. Other losses were incurred in the areas of pay phones, directory assistance service and cable, the report says.

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