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EARNINGS

General Telephone Has Record Net

April 10, 1985|BRUCE KEPPEL

General Telephone of California increased earnings 31% last year to a record $244.5 million, the company reported on the eve of today's annual meeting at its Santa Monica headquarters.

Revenue increased 11% to $2.2 billion as the company achieved a 15% return, up from 12.9%, for its parent, GTE.

The earnings record enabled the company to generate 91% of its own capital requirements, a slight improvement from 1983 but a strong contrast to the 49% raised internally in 1982, said President and Chief Executive David E. Anderson. He called the improvement "a direct result of our five-year expansion and modernization program."

The company has spent nearly $3.4 billion in expanding and modernizing its switching facilities. In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized $231.8 million in rate increases during the year, Anderson said.

"Five years ago, things looked anything but promising," he acknowledged in remarks prepared for the annual meeting. Alluding to the company's 26,000 employees, Anderson said, "It took our collective effort to get service and earnings back on track."

Service had so deteriorated in the last half of the 1970s, a period of rapid growth in the coastal section of General's Southern California service territory, that the PUC threatened to order customer refunds if minimum standards were not achieved. To avoid rebates, trouble reports had to average six or fewer for every 100 telephone lines, and at least 97% of all calls tried had to go through without a hitch.

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