March 6, 2018 / 10:32 PM / 5 months ago

Telecom Italia promises higher investor returns under new 3-yr plan

MILAN, March 6 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia (TIM) on Tuesday pledged to accelerate cash flow generation, increase shareholder returns and become a more digital player in the first three-year business plan under new Chief Executive Amos Genish.

TIM expects to generate a total of between 4-4.5 billion euros in equity free cash flow over the three years to 2020.

It said net debt to EBTIDA ratio would stand at around 2.7 times this year and decrease in the following two years. It had previously guided for the ratio to fall below 2.7 times by the end of 2018.

The former state phone monopoly said domestic revenues would remain broadly stable over the life of the plan, while core earnings would grow at a low single digit rate on average between 2017-2020.

For 2017, the company reported a 4.2 percent rise in group revenues to 19.8 billion euros ($24.6 billion), in line with an analyst consensus provided by the company.

Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 2.6 percent to 7.79 billion euros, hit by one-off charges of 883 million euros mainly due to staff restructuring costs. This compares with an analyst consensus forecast of 8.34 billion euros. ($1 = 0.8061 euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Danilo Masoni)

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