Earnings reports

Telecom Italia Not in Ruins

While European carriers continue to see fixed-line revenues fall, Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) has posted an increase for the first time in five years as the company beat estimates in its preliminary results for 2003 (see Telecom Italia Boosts Profits and Eurofile: Empire Building).

Wireline revenues for the year reached €17.2 billion ($US22 billion), up 1 percent over 2002. The sagging revenues for traditional data services and leased lines were helped along by the growth of new services such as broadband access and value-added data and Web services for business customers (see Telecom Italia Speeds Up).

Telecom Italia Wireline was the fastest growing DSL operator in Europe during the fourth quarter; its broadband subscriptions increased from 1.4 million in 2002 to 2.2 million in 2003. Some 160,000 of those subscribers were in other European markets, including France and Germany.

Revenues for the group as a whole were €30.9 billion ($39.6 billion), up 5.3 percent from 2002 on a pro forma basis and at equivalent exchange rates. The company was only expecting growth in the range of 4 percent to 4.5 percent.

Telecom Italia's pro forma operating income increased 15.6 percent at constant exchange rates to €6.8 billion ($8.7 billion), and its net debt fell to €33.3 billion ($42.6 billion) in the fourth quarter.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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