February 3, 2017 / 2:21 AM / a year ago

Brazil's TIM aims to cut investment, expand margins in 2017-2019

SAO PAULO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - TIM Participaçoes SA , Brazil’s second-largest wireless phone company, said on Thursday it aims to trim capital spending in the next three years while expanding its operating margins and maintaining positive revenue growth.

Investments next year should fall by about 10 percent to around 4 billion reais ($1.3 billion), TIM said in its new 2017-2019 business plan. Net revenue, which fell 9 percent in 2016, should grow every quarter under the plan.

TIM also said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, should rise to more than 36 percent of revenue in 2019 from 33.5 percent last year.

The plan reflects TIM’s efforts to focus on more profitable post-paid clients and leave behind a reputation as a less reliable low-cost carrier, which positioned the company poorly for a recession that has squeezed demand from pre-paid users.

The wireless carrier gave the outlook alongside its fourth-quarter earnings report, which showed a 22 percent drop in net income from a year earlier to 364 million reais ($117 million) due to more capital spending and financial expenses.

Still, profit beat a consensus estimate of 217 million reais compiled by Thomson Reuters.

EBITDA rose 4 percent from a year earlier to 1.568 billion reais, beating a consensus of 1.401 billion reais.

$1 = 3.1235 reais Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Sandra Maler

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