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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Telekomunikacja Polska to A3, stable outlook

21 Feb 2008
Moody's upgrades Telekomunikacja Polska to A3, stable outlook

Madrid, February 21, 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service today upgraded to A3 from Baa1 the senior unsecured ratings of the debt instruments issued by Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TPSA) and its guaranteed subsidiaries TPSA Eurofinance B.V. and TPSA Finance B.V. The outlook is stable.

The rating action reflects Moody's expectation that TPSA will maintain strong financial ratios resulting from its stable underlying cash flows and the continued maintenance of prudent financial policies. TPSA has publicly committed to maintain a maximum net debt to EBITDA of 1.5x. In addition, Moody's does not expect the company to make any large scale acquisitions except for some possible minor domestic or regional bolt-on transactions.

While Moody's decision to upgrade TPSA is predominantly based on a stand alone assessment of the company, Moody's nevertheless regards TPSA's credit profile as being correlated to a degree with that of its main shareholder France Telecom (rated A3 stable, which has an equity stake of 48.6% in TPSA) where FT (i) controls the board of TPSA with 7 out of 13 of the members nominated by FT; and (ii) fully consolidates TPSA into its own reported results. The decision to upgrade TPSA's rating -- such that it is now aligned with FT's A3 rating -- also largely reflects Moody's comfort that France Telecom will continue to support the maintenance of the more prudent financial policies noted above which underpin this action.

A corollary to this is that TPSA's ratings could come under pressure in the future if, for example, TPSA were to implement more aggressive financial policies such as increased share repurchases that resulted in the maximum net debt to EBITDA target of 1.5x changing. Moody´s also said that if the rating of FT were to come under pressure in the future, it would most likely affect the rating stability of TPSA given the perceived degree of correlation between the two parties.

"We expect that TPSA will sustain a substantially improved financial risk profile, with debt ratios commensurate with an A3 rating," says Carlos Winzer, a Moody's Senior Vice President. "The company's operational developments leave it well placed to handle an expected increase in competitor activity in Poland's fixed and mobile markets."

"In our decision to upgrade TPSA while assigning it a stable outlook, we also balanced the fact that the group is facing an increasingly competitive market in fixed and wireless, as well as a tough regulatory environment that supports further competition in a low growth market," Mr Winzer adds. "As a result, management needs to continue to restructure operations and cut costs to prevent pressure on margins. "

TPSA's rating upgrade is a reflection of the company's improved financial metrics and future performance guidance and commitment to conservative financial ratio guidance. This results from management's successful execution of a restructuring strategy and the company's operating strength as TPSA enjoys a leading position in the Polish fixed-line market. In common with its peers, TPSA has experienced and will continue to experience revenue pressure in its fixed-line operations. This pressure is coming from market competition, traffic migration and tariff reductions.

Restructuring initiatives, including headcount reduction as well as the profound organisational and management changes pursued since 2005, are helping to improve TPSA's operational cash flow. The company will continue to introduce greater efficiency into its operations and, whilst TPSA could inevitably experience more market share loss in fixed-line, Moody's believes that a combination of new services, customer focus and expected growth in data and broadband revenues will help TPSA mitigate competitor activity.

TPSA has a liquidity structure that is sufficient to cover its debt maturities and other expected cash demands on existing cash balances and internally generated funds. As of year-end 2007, TPSA had PLN624 million of cash and at least PLN5.3 billion of unutilised committed bank facilities. In addition, we estimate that TPSA should generate in 2008 a free cash flow before dividends in line with management's commitment, i.e. 18% to 20% of revenues. .

Moody's previous rating action on TPSA was on 26 October 2005, when the ratings were upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2, supported by Moody's expectation that the cash flow generation would lead to sustainable strong financial metrics.

Domiciled in Warsaw, Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TPSA) is the principal provider of local, long-distance and international telecommunication services in Poland. TPSA is one of the country's leading providers of Internet and broadband services and it also has a leading presence in the fixed line segment, serving 9.5 million fixed voice lines and 2.1 million fixed-line broadband connections. Wireless services are provided by its 100%-owned subsidiary PTK Centertel under the brand name Orange to some 14.2 million mobile customers. The group's shareholders include France Telecom (FT, A3), which holds a 48.6% stake, the Polish state (4.0%), Bank of New York (5. 1%) and other private investors.

Madrid
Carlos Winzer
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
David G. Staples
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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