Milan, Italy — Omnitel closed the third quarter of 1999 with excellent results, confirming the company's continued financial growth and market share.
Customer growth was constant during the summer months. As of September 30 Omnitel had 8.9 million customers and broke the 9 million threshold on October 9. Customer growth figures confirm Omnitel is now the co-leader in the Italian market and the second largest mobile telecommunications operator in Europe.
Net growth in the customer base in the first nine months of the year was 2.7 million subscribers.
Earnings in the third quarter of 1999 amounted to Lire 1,918 billion, bringing the overall turnover in the first nine months of the year to Lire 5,125 billion, compared to Lire 2,953 billion in the first 9 months of 1998, for growth of 74%. In particular, service revenues rose from Lire 2,578 billion to Lire 4,572 billion, up 77%. EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) for the period was Lire 2,121 billion, accounting for 46% of service revenues. In the first nine months of last year EBITDA was Lire 962 billion, or 37% of service revenues.
Net profit for the first nine months was Lire 1,105 billion compared to Lire 498 billion for the same period in 1998, up 122%, and was posted after a tax accrual of Lire 455 billion.
In the first nine months of the year Omnitel invested Lire 1,232 billion to support service innovation, technological solutions, and continued customer focus. This represents growth of 62% compared to the same period in 1998, or 111% of net profits for the period.
Part of these investments was dedicated to Internet-related activities. The company commercially launched its wireless portal, Omnitel 2000, and its virtual store www.spaioomnitel.it, reaching a turnover of about 2 billion lire in just 4 months. There will be further developments in commercial activities on the Internet in the months to come.
On-line customer care was also stepped up with dedicated services and a newsletter sent by e-mail to more than 70,000 registered customers.
"The new services and the Internet activities in general," stated Vittorio Colao, Omnitel's Chief Executive Officer, "demonstrate yet again Omnitel's orientation toward innovation, always with customer care in mind. Imvestments in these areas will continue over the next three months and will be further increased during 2000. Omnitel wants to maintain its leadership position not only in telecommunications but also in the world of the Internet."
|Billions of Lire||30 September 1999||30 September 1998||Variation|
|* From services||5,125||2,953||2,172|
|* Other income||4,572||2,578||1,994|
|EBITDA as % of service revenues||46%||37%||9%|
|Net Profit as % of service revenues||24%||19%||5%|