Telecom Italia share price slides on 2012 results

Company misses debt-reduction target

Telecom Italia share price slides on 2012 results

Milan, February 8 - Telecom Italia's share price took a dive on Friday after the company posted ''fairly weak'' preliminary results for 2012. The price of shares in Italy's main telecommunications provider fell by 5.7% during early trading on the Milan exchange and operations had to be suspended briefly. Share prices subsequently crept back up again but then fell by 4.31% on the announcement by Telecom's board of directors that it would be halving annual dividends to 450 million euros as part of its new three-year plan. Last year the group cut dividends by 23% to 900 million euros. Earlier in the day Telecom announced consolidated revenues of 29.5 million euros for 2012 (up 0.5% over the previous year), consolidated net income of 11.67 million euros (down 2% over 2011) and a net debt of 28.27 billion euros. The figure represented an improvement over the 30.41- billion-euro debt registered at the end of 2011 but fell short of the company's 27.5-billion-euro target for last year. ''The steady pursuit of efficiencies has enabled the group to close the 2012 financial year with operating results in line with its targets,'' said Executive President Franco Bernabe'. ''Such results are even more significant, achieved as they were in an extremely tough economic climate with the persisting recession and market difficulties in Italy, and a slowdown in growth in Brazil and Argentina (where Telecom has subsidiaries)'', he said.

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