Telecom Italia halves dividend, approves hybrid debt issue

MILAN Fri Feb 8, 2013 6:17am EST

MILAN Feb 8 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia said on Friday it would halve its dividend payout and issue up to 3 billion euros ($4 billion) in hybrid debt, as it seeks to fund investments while still cutting debt.

In a statement that followed the release of preliminary 2012 results, Italy's biggest telecoms group said it would issue the hybrid subordinated debt notes over a period of 18-24 months.

It said it would pay an annual dividend of 450 million euros over the life of its new three-year plan to 2015.

Adjusted net debt is targeted at below 27 billion euros at the end of 2013, against its previous target of about 25 billion euros, while industrial capex will be 16 billion euros in the next three years.

Telecom Italia missed its 2012 debt target on Friday as disposals drag on and earnings are hit by a prolonged recession in Italy and a slowdown in growth in Latin America.

At 1117 GMT, shares were down 4.6 percent at 0.64 euros.

($1 = 0.7469 euros) (Reporting By Danilo Masoni, editing by Jennifer Clark)