February 4, 2004

West Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2003 Earnings

Record Full Year Results - Revenue of $988.3 Million, Net Income Of $87.9 Million and Diluted EPS of $1.28

OMAHA, Neb., Feb 4, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- West Corporation (Nasdaq: WSTC), a leading provider of outsourced communication solutions, today announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2003 results.

     Financial Summary (unaudited)
     (In millions, except per share amounts and percentages)

                      Three Months Ended        Twelve Months Ended
                            Dec 31                     Dec 31
                       2003       2002  Percent   2003      2002  Percent
                                        Change                     Change
     Total Revenue    $271.0    $215.7   25.7%   $988.3    $820.7   20.4%
     Operating Income  $37.3     $19.6   90.3%   $143.1    $106.5   34.4%
     Net Income        $22.6     $12.2   85.5%    $87.9     $68.6   28.0%
     Earnings per share
      (basic)          $0.34     $0.18            $1.32     $1.04
     Earnings per share
      (diluted)        $0.33     $0.18            $1.28     $1.01

"Our consolidated year-over-year comparisons were enhanced by the acquisitions of InterCall and ConferenceCall.com," said Thomas B. Barker, Chief Executive Officer of West Corporation. "Despite a slight year-over-year revenue decrease during the fourth quarter in our Communications Services segment and a $2.1 million write off associated with a reduction in outbound capacity, we were able to meet our consolidated revenue and net income targets for the year."

Consolidated Operating Results

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2003, revenues were $271.0 million compared to $215.7 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of 25.7%. Operating income for the fourth quarter was $37.3 million, an increase of 90.3% compared to $19.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2002. Net income was $22.6 million, up 85.5% compared to $12.2 million in the same quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share were 33 cents versus 18 cents in the same period of 2002.

For the fiscal year 2003, revenues were $988.3 million, a 20.4% increase compared to 2002 revenues of $820.7 million. Operating income was $143.1 million, up 34.4% compared to $106.5 million in the prior year. Net income increased 28.0% to $87.9 million, versus $68.6 million in 2002. The company earned $1.28 per diluted share in 2003, compared to $1.01 in 2002.

Margins

The company reported consolidated operating margins of approximately 13.8% in the fourth quarter of 2003, a 470 basis point increase over consolidated operating margins of 9.1% in the comparable period of 2002. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2003, consolidated operating margins were 14.5%, a 150 basis point increase over consolidated operating margins of 13.0% in fiscal 2002. The addition of the Conferencing segment, which historically has higher margins than the Communication Services segment, significantly improved the company's consolidated operating margin. The Communications Services segment's fourth quarter 2003 operating margin improved to 11.8% from 9.1% in the comparable period in 2002. For the year ended December 31, 2003, the Communication Services segment's operating margin was 13.3% compared to 13.0% in the comparable period of 2002.

As a percentage of revenue, consolidated SG&A expense increased from 41.7% in the fourth quarter of 2002 to 42.7% in the fourth quarter of 2003. The fourth quarter SG&A was impacted by a charge of $2.1 million related to the sale and closing of outbound contact centers. This compares to a $2.5 million charge in the fourth quarter 2002, also related to closing outbound contact centers. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2003, consolidated SG&A expense as percentage of revenue increased to 41.0% from 38.4% in the previous year. The SG&A percentage of revenue increased 180 basis points in both the fourth quarter and annual periods due to the acquisitions of InterCall and ConferenceCall.com, which have a greater percentage of SG&A to revenue than our Communication Services segment.

Balance Sheet

At December 31, 2003, West Corporation had cash and short-term investments totaling $25.6 million and a current ratio of 1.66-to-1. On January 22, 2004, the company increased its line of credit by $125.0 million, which increased the unused and available portion of the revolving credit facility from $93.0 million at December 31, 2003 to $218.0 million currently.

"This has been an important and productive year in the development of our company," said Paul Mendlik, Chief Financial Officer of West Corporation. "Not only did we successfully acquire and finance InterCall and ConferenceCall.com, but we also adapted to changing market conditions by rightsizing our workstation capacity. Part of this process included transferring some workstations from outbound teleservices to other Communication Services units."

Conference Call

The company will hold a conference call to discuss earnings on February 5th at 10:00 AM Central Time. Investors may access the call by visiting the Investor Relations section of the West Corporation website at www.west.com and clicking on the Live Webcast icon. If you are unable to participate during the live webcast, a replay of the call will also be available on the website.

About West Corporation

West Corporation is a leading provider of outsourced communication solutions to many of the world's largest companies. The company helps its clients communicate effectively, maximize the value of their customer relationships and drive greater revenue from each transaction. West's integrated suite of customized solutions includes customer acquisition, customer care and retention services, interactive voice response services, and conferencing and accounts receivable management services.

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West has a team of approximately 24,000 employees based in North America, Europe and Asia.

    For more information, please visit www.west.com .


                               WEST CORPORATION
                      CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
    (Unaudited, in thousands except per share and selected operating data)

                    Three Months Ended,        Twelve Months Ended
                        December 31        %       December 31,       %
                       2003      2002   Change    2003      2002   Change
    Revenue         $271,045  $215,687   25.7% $988,341  $820,665   20.4%
    Cost of services 117,970   106,066   11.2%  440,260   399,276   10.3%
    Selling, general
     and administrative
     expenses        115,801    90,035   28.6%  404,972   314,886   28.6%
    Operating income  37,274    19,586   90.3%  143,109   106,503   34.4%
    Other income
     (expense), net   (1,674)      597 -380.4%   (3,289)    2,145 -253.3%
    Income before tax 35,600    20,183   76.4%  139,820   108,648   28.7%
    Income tax
     expense          13,049     7,928   64.6%   51,779    39,706   30.4%
    Minority Interest      -        97 -100.0%      165       300  -45.0%
    Net income       $22,551   $12,158   85.5%  $87,876   $68,642   28.0%

    Earnings per share:
      Basic            $0.34     $0.18            $1.32     $1.04
      Diluted          $0.33     $0.18            $1.28     $1.01
    Weighted average
     common shares
     outstanding:
      Basic           66,745    65,987           66,495    65,823
      Diluted         68,898    67,329           68,617    68,129

    SELECTED OPERATING DATA:
    Revenue:
      Communication
       Services *   $205,607  $215,687         $827,585  $820,665
      Conferencing    65,438         -          160,756         -
      Total         $271,045  $215,687         $988,341  $820,665

    Operating Income:
      Communication
       Services      $24,222  $ 19,586         $109,969  $106,503
      Conferencing    13,052         -           33,140         -
      Total          $37,274  $ 19,586         $143,109  $106,503

    Operating Margin:
      Communication
       Services        11.8%      9.1%            13.3%     13.0%
      Conferencing     19.9%         -            20.6%         -
      Total            13.8%      9.1%            14.5%     13.0%

    Number of
     Communication
     Services
     workstations
     (end of period)  13,231    14,230           13,231    14,230
    Number of
     Communication
     Services ports
     (end of period) 143,148   151,759          143,148   151,759

    * Communication Services = includes all West Corporation services apart
      from InterCall conferencing.


                           Condensed Balance Sheet
                                           December 31,  December 31,   %
                                                2003        2002      Change
    Current assets:
       Cash and short-term investments         $25,563    $137,927    -81.5%
       Trade accounts receivable, net          153,428     121,868     25.9%
       Other current assets                     23,423      29,790    -21.4%
         Total current assets                  202,414     289,585    -30.1%
    Net property and equipment                 234,650     213,641      9.8%
    Goodwill                                   452,848     114,146    296.7%
    Other assets                               125,951      53,450    135.6%
         Total assets                       $1,015,863    $670,822     51.4%
    Current liabilities                       $121,621     $66,322     83.4%
    Long Term Obligations                      169,500      17,155    888.1%
    Other liabilities & minority interest       68,504      37,753     81.5%
    Stockholders' equity                       656,238     549,592     19.4%
       Total liabilities and stockholders
        equity                              $1,015,863    $670,822     51.4%

SOURCE West Corporation

Carol Padon, Investor Relations of West Corporation,
+1-402-963-1500
http://www.west.com

Copyright (C) 2004 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

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