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MILAN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia on Thursday reported a 14.8 percent drop in core earnings for the first nine months, hit by one-off charges and further deterioration in its key Brazilian market.
Italy's biggest phone group said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 5.6 billion euros ($6.09 billion), in line with an analyst consensus forecast provided by the company of 5.65 billion euros. Excluding the effects of the 460 million euros in one-off charges, EBITDA fell 4.8 percent.
Sales at the former telecoms monopoly, which is seeking new sources of income as its traditional phone services lose appeal amid competition from Internet rivals, fell 6.9 percent to 14.9 billion euros, roughly in line with consensus forecast.
Domestic sales fell 1.8 percent to 11.13 billion, but the contraction in the July-September period was more modest than in the previous quarters.
The group said its operating performance in Italy was set to gradually improve this year in line with its 2015-2017 business plan, while it would seek to reduce costs and pursue "data-centred commercial initiatives" at TIM Brasil to boost profitability at the unit. ($1 = 0.9191 euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Isla Binnie)