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STAMFORD, Conn. -- Introduced by the three words "Ready, Set, Go," GTE Corp.'s
1996 annual report features an eight-page timeline that graphically tells the
story of how GTE has taken the actions that position it well ahead of its
competitors during the first year of open competition in the telecom industry.
GTE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles R. Lee, pictured with the
"start-watch" that appears on the report's cover, calls 1996 "the most important
year in the history of the telecommunications industry, and a very good year for
Passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened a "window of
opportunity," Lee observes, and "we were ready from Day One." GTE became the
first large local phone company to offer long-distance, to provide a convenient
package of integrated services, and to put everything together on one bill, with
one point of contact for customer services.
"No other major local telephone company can make the same claim," Lee
asserts. "GTE is providing these services to customers in our major markets
today," while other companies are still just talking about their plans. GTE is
also working hard to promote the elimination of unnecessary regulation and the
development of a fair and competitive market, he says.
In addition, the company is moving aggressively "to take advantage of our
substantial presence and decades of experience in international markets," Lee
emphasizes. "In 1997, we plan to pursue additional initiatives in Asia, Latin
America and Europe."
A second special annual report feature, complementing the timeline,
addresses another key company goal. "GTE has set out to become the easiest
company to do business with in the entire industry," Lee says. The report
pictures several customers -- including a retired couple, a retailer, a
California family, a Venezuelan child and a student -- who have received
services reflecting that objective.
Long Distance Reply Card Demonstrates GTE's Aggressive Marketing
A reply card bound into the center of the annual report offers individual
shareholders in all 50 states an opportunity to sign up for GTE Long Distance
services. The insert exemplifies the vigorous drive the company has mounted to
build a strong position in long-distance service.
The report notes that GTE added 825,000 long-distance customers during the
year, along with 738,000 cellular customers, 72,000 Internet customers, 7,000
video customers and 8,600 new directory advertisers.
GTE shareholders are also reminded of the company's strong financial
performance in 1996. Charts show GTE's industry-leading 8.1 percent access-line
growth and 11.1 percent increase in minutes of use, as well as the company's 6.9
percent increase in consolidated revenues to $21.3 billion for the year, and its
10 percent increase in earnings per share to $2.88. Total access lines at year
end were 25.9 million, with cellular subscribers at just under
GTE, which ranks among the nation's 15 most widely held companies, published
about 1,600,000 copies of the report, one of the world's largest annual report
print runs. Information in the report will also be available on the company's
Web site, http://www.gte.com.
With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest
publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. GTE is also the
largest U.S.-based local telephone company and a leading cellular-service
provider -- with wireline and wireless operations that form a market area
covering about one third of the country's population. Outside the United
States, where GTE has operated for more than 40 years, the company serves over 6
million customers. GTE also is a worldwide leader in government and defense
communications systems and equipment, aircraft-passenger telecommunications,
directories and telecommunications-based information services and systems.