Omnitel Board of Directors Approves 1996 Financial Results
More than two trillion lira already invested; subscribers
soon to reach one million
March 24, 1997
Milan, Italy - Omnitel Pronto Italia's Board of
Directors unanimously approved the company's 1996 financial results
during a meeting held in Milan late last week. Omnitel is Bell
Atlantic's Italian wireless investment.
Omnitel's results showed that in its first year of business it was the
fastest cellular start-up in the world in terms of customer growth and
speed of network deployment. On December 31, 1996, Omnitel had
713,000 customers and generated 497 billion lira from the sales of
products and services. The company gained a 28 percent share of new
cellular subscribers and a 33 percent share of all GSM (Global System
for Mobile) customers.
The company's results are in line with the economic and financial
forecasts included in its business plan. Last year's investments,
mostly in network capital, amounted to 729 billion lira, bringing total
investments to 2,511 billion lira including the 750 billion lira paid
for its GSM license. More than 1,500 radio base stations were
installed by the end of the year, providing coverage to 60 percent of
the Italian territory and 86 percent of the population.
In accordance with the original business plan approved three years
ago, Omnitel closed its 1996 fiscal year with a loss. After taxes,
the company posted a 589 billion lira loss.
Both the number of full subscriptions and its sales of the new
Ricaricabile" (a sophisticated rechargeable GSM usage card) exceeded
expectations, and the total number of subscribers is expected to soon
reach one million.
"Omnitel has proven to be a unique company not only for the speed
which it grew, but also for its ability to meet its commitments to
shareholders," said Carlo Peretti, president of Omnitel Pronto
"Today, Omnitel is a leading company and a major player in the
telecommunication market, a role confirmed by its growing number of
subscribers, the high quality of its service, and the interest shown
by current shareholders in acquiring additional shares in the