July 24, 2019 / 6:08 AM / in 7 months

UPDATE 1-KPN core profits gain despite network outage, CEO exit

* EBITDA after leases up 3.6%, beating consensus

* Cost cuts, brand integration offset decline in revenues

* Profit guidance raised slightly (Updates with detail, comment, outlook)

FRANKFURT, July 24 (Reuters) - KPN reported a 3.6% gain in core profits for the second quarter, despite suffering a major network outage that was followed by news that Chief Executive Officer Maximo Ibarra would be leaving the Dutch telecoms firm in September.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization after leases (EBITDA AL) rose to 594 million euros ($662 million), handily beating an average forecast of 572 million euros in a company poll of analysts.

The Dutch telecoms market leader suffered a four-hour network outage that knocked out emergency service lines on June 24. A day later, Ibarra said he would leave to join Comcast's Sky Italia unit.

Still, 40 million euros in costs cuts and progress in integrating its product brands helped squeeze out profits growth despite a 3.1% decline in top-line revenues in the mature Dutch market.

"Accelerated simplification and digitalization delivered substantial cost savings this quarter, resulting in a solid growth in adjusted EBITDA after leases," Ibarra said in a statement.

Ibarra said he was leaving the company "in very capable hands". There has been no announcement on who will replace him.

KPN slightly raised its forecast for EBITDA after leases for this year to indicate slight growth, up from no change. Free cash flow would be incidentally lower due to front-loaded restructuring charges, it added. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine Editing by Thomas Seythal and Subhranshu Sahu)

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