Telecom Italia drops 2013 dividend, achieves debt cutting target

MILAN, March 7 Fri Mar 7, 2014 1:48am EST

MILAN, March 7 (Reuters) - Italy's largest phone group Telecom Italia will not pay the 2013 dividend on its ordinary shares as it reached its debt-cutting target and said it continued to focus on much-needed network investment.

In a statement, the company led by CEO Marco Patuano, who is carrying out a business plan based on disposals and investments, said adjusted net debt fell by 1.467 billion euros ($2.03 billion) to 26.807 billion euros at the end of December.

It said it will not pay a dividend on its ordinary shares but will pay a dividend of 2.75 euro cents on its saving shares. However, it said from next year it will remunerate all shareholders.

Revenues fell an organic 5.2 percent to 23.4 billion euros and organic EBITDA fell by 804 million euros to 9.7 billion euros, while goodwill writedowns produced a net loss of 674 million euros.

Telecom Italia also launched a buyback on bonds for 500 million euros. ($1 = 0.7225 euros) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni)