Telecom Italia posts EUR2bn H1 loss following domestic write-down

5 Aug 2011

Telecom Italia (TI) has reported consolidated revenues of EUR14.54 billion (USD20.7 billion) for the six months ended 30 June 2011, up 10% from the EUR13.22 billion reported in 1H10. Of the total, EUR9.36 billion was derived from TI’s core domestic interests, down 7.3% year-on-year. Revenues generated by the group’s Brazilian interest TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) increased 21.7% to EUR3.5 billion, whilst Telecom Argentina weighed in with revenues of EUR1.51 billion; no comparison figures are available, as the Argentinean business unit was not consolidated until 13 October 2010. EBITDA for 1H11 was EUR5.98 billion, up 4.3% on the corresponding period in 2010, while the company posted a consolidated net loss of EUR2.01 billion following a goodwill write-down of non-current domestic assets worth EUR3.18 billion. The valuation was based on the deterioration of the financial markets in terms of interest rate trends. Excluding the write-down, TI’s net profit would have amounted to EUR1.17 billion for the six-month period.

In operational terms, at 30 June 2011 domestic fixed line retail accesses remained flat at 15 million, whilst broadband subscribers totalled 9.1 million, of which 1.9 million were wholesale connections. Telecom Italia Mobile meanwhile claimed 31.3 million subscribers in its home market. Telecom Argentina witnessed subscriber growth in all sectors of its business, with fixed lines growing slightly to 4.1 million thanks to uptake of bundled services. Meanwhile, broadband subscriptions grew to 1.46 million, and customers of the Telecom Personal mobile unit reached 17.4 million by end-June. Elsewhere, TIM Brasil saw its mobile subscriber base rise 25% year-on-year to 55.5 million.

Franco Bernabe, CEO of Telecom Italia, commented: ‘Repositioning on markets with better growth prospects has enabled the group to close the first half with revenues of EUR14.5 billion, of which 34% [came] from Brazil and Argentina. The trend in domestic revenues is improving, in particular, due to price stabilisation in the mobile segment and protection of value in the fixed line customer base. The goodwill write-down has no financial consequences and no impact on the group’s debt reduction plan or dividend distribution’.