Telecom Italia became the latest European carrier to record falling revenues in 2009, reporting a 5.6% fall to €27.2 billion year-on-year in preliminary results released late yesterday.
The fall came as the firm cut its reliance on handset sales as a source of income, but failed to improve service revenues to make up the deficit. Handset revenues were down 22.1% and service revenues 4.2% year-on-year.
Bosses at the firm blamed a competitive market in Europe for a 6.8% yearly decline in domestic revenues to €21.6 million. Income from its domestic landline business was down 1.8% on 2008, and the mobile division made 11.2% less, on the back of lower interconnection rates and a declining user-base.
The firm lost nearly four-million mobile users in 2009, ending the year with 30.9 million subscribers compared to 34.8 million in 2008.
The results are only provisional at this stage, as the firm has delayed reporting officially until March 25, to allow the board of its Sparkle subsidiary to assess the impact of a December court ruling against it.
CEO Franco Bernabe says the board of Sparkle needs “to examine the court order in full,” and called its decision to postpone “prudent.”
Bernabe explained that “similar considerations,” had prompted Telecom Italia’s board to delay releasing official results until its next board meeting.
Earlier in the day Deutsche Telekom reported a 4.8% fall in revenues to €64.6 billion in 2009, while France Telecom said its revenues fell 1.8% to €45.9 billion in 2009.