REFILE-UPDATE 3-Telecom Italia speeds up spending, slows debt reduction
(Adds CEO quote, comments on M&A options; refiled to add dropped word "also" in paragraph 10)
* New business plan lifts investment to 14.5 bln euros
* Company's annual revenue and core profit fall
* Executives cool on prospects of any imminent M&A deals
* Says network investment driving Italian sales recovery
By Danilo Masoni and Pamela Barbaglia
MILAN/LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia posted a further fall in sales and profits on Friday but said the pace of decline was slowing as it steps up spending on faster fixed and mobile networks in Italy and Brazil.
Outlining its new investment plan, the heavily indebted company said it would spend 14.5 billion euros ($16.4 billion) in the next three years on laying more fibre optic cables in Italy and upgrading its mobile network in Brazil.
As a result it warned it would have to husband cash resources, so there would be no resumption in dividend payments to ordinary shareholders and it would take longer to cut its net debt of 26.65 billion euros, down by just 156 million last year. Continuación...