FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - In the telecoms sector, United Internet, 1&1 and Ionos all performed very weakly on Thursday after presenting their figures. The shares thus continued their negative trend against the market.

There were initially no reasons to explain the weak share price performance. Analysts hardly criticized anything. Andrew Lee from Goldman Sachs, for example, wrote that the fourth quarter of United Internet and its two subsidiaries 1&1 and Ionos was largely in line with market expectations. The targets announced in December were also confirmed

United Internet shares temporarily slipped to the upper end of the price gap that emerged shortly before Christmas. The downward trend since the end of January remains intact. They recently lost around four percent to 21 euros. The share prices of 1&1 and Ionos did not look any better on Thursday, with losses of up to five percent.

In the past year, United Internet increased its sales and earned more in operating terms despite higher costs for the 1&1 network expansion. In contrast, 1&1 earned less from operations than in the previous year. Both companies roughly matched analysts' average estimates. United Internet's subsidiary Ionos, which specializes in internet services, is targeting further growth and aims to become more profitable.

United Internet's quarterly figures were okay, but only okay, said financial market expert Andreas Lipkow. "A closer look shows that the costs of expanding the network are already reflected in the earnings performance." The Group will also have to continue to invest large sums in the future in order to keep pace with other providers. The outlook also reflected this and did not represent a real purchase price./ajx/ag/stk