Italian mobile heavyweight Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) [Milan: TIM.MI] reported a 22.6% rise in net profit to EUR1.165 billion in 2002, despite writing down assets in cellular operators outside of Italy. The cellco incurred a one-off charge of EUR1.41 billion relating to the write-off of its stake in Turkish operator Aria IS-TIM, as well as write-downs at partly owned Latin American subsidiaries Digitel Venezuela and Maxitel Brazil. The charges were, however, offset by extraordinary gains of EUR1.18 billion arising from the sale of stakes in Bouygues Télécom, Mobilkom Austria and Auna in Spain during the course of the year. Excluding one-off provisions, the company said its net profit would have risen by 19.3%. TIM posted group revenues of EUR10.87 billion in 2002, up 6% on the previous year, while gross operating profit increased by 5.9% to EUR5.03 billion and operating income rose 7.1% to EUR3.36 billion. By 31 December 2002 the group had 39.1 million mobile subscribers, representing a year-on-year increase of 12.2%.
In Italy, TIM boosted its domestic customer base by 5.7% to 25.3 million, helping generate turnover of EUR8.92 billion and profit of EUR3.3 billion. Meanwhile TIM Brasil Group, which includes Tele Nordeste Celular, Tele Celular Sul, Maxitel and TIM Celular, reported consolidated profit of BRL271 million (EUR71.62 million) on revenue of BRL984 million, having increased its client base by 17% over the year. TIM Peru, which launched commercial operations in January 2001 said its revenues rose threefold to PEN308 million (EUR83 million) in 2002 helping it narrow its loss from PEN173 million to PEN95 million. The group’s Venezuelan arm Corporacion Digitel posted turnover of VEB260.4 billion (EUR147 million), compared with VEB173.3 billion a year ago, and in Europe STET Hellas of Greece performed strongly increasing turnover by 31.7% to EUR689 million, generating operating income of EUR131 million – 47.2% higher than in 2001.