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Deutsche Telekom's Third-Quarter Slides

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's biggest telecommunications company, said Thursday that its third-quarter profit slid as more and more customers abandoned their traditional fixed-line telephones.

The Bonn-based company earned 259 million euros ($381.3 million) in the July-September period from 1.96 billion euros a year earlier as the company failed to staunch declining traditional phone line subscribers.

However sales rose 1.4 percent 5.7 billion euros ($23.11 billion) from 15.48 billion euros a year ago, as customers flocked to its cell phone unit, T-Mobile, both in Europe and the United States, a key market that the company is expanding in. Demand for its broadband Internet access also rose, particularly in Germany, its home market, where it garnered 48 percent of all new broadband contracts.

Chief executive Rene Obermann said the company was still on track to meet its goals for 2007, despite the quarterly slide in profit, its sixth in a row.

"We are fully on track to meet our targets for 2007," he said.

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