ROME (04/12/2000) - Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) SpA, Italy's largest mobile phone company, posted an 18.6 percent increase in profits to 2.9 trillion lire (US$1.49 billion) in 1999, the company said today. Revenue rose 21 percent to 14.4 trillion lire, the company's annual general meeting was told.
Roberto Colaninno, chairman of TIM's parent company Telecom Italia SpA, took advantage of the shareholders' meeting in Turin to announce that TIM had been successful in its bid for a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) cell phone license in Turkey, a rapidly growing market in a country of 65 million people.
The meeting approved a dividend distribution of 325 lire per ordinary share and 344.3 lire per savings share, up from 135 and 145 respectively from the previous year, the company said in a prepared statement.
TIM plans to invest 6.5 trillion lire in expanding and improving its service over the next three years, Colaninno told shareholders. "We are interested in the UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system) license not just in Italy but in the whole of Europe," Colaninno was reported as saying. "The next one should be in France, where we will participate in the competition with our partner Bouygues Telecom SA," he said.
As of March 31, TIM had 19.2 million customers in Italy and 15.8 million abroad, TIM Chief Executive Officer Marco De Benedetti told shareholders.
TIM can be contacted in Rome at +3906-39002491 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.tim.it.