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Enel net profit jumps 325%, will invest 2.5b euros in broadband

Staff writer |
Italy's utility Enel said it would pay a higher dividend in its 2015 results of 0.16 euros after its net profit for the year jumped 325 percent.

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The state-controlled utility had paid a dividend of 0.14 euros per share on 2014 results.

In a statement, Enel said its net profits for last year rose 325 percent to 2.196 billion euros (£1.8 billion). Last year profits slumped due to hefty writedowns on assets.

"Our 2015 results provide us with a solid foundation for further progress in the years to come. We are therefore able to confirm our financial targets for 2016," Enel CEO Francesco Starace said.

Enel presented the strategic plan of Enel OpEn Fiber, the company established in December last year to build and operate ultra-broadband optical fibre infrastructure across Italy.[break]

Enel OpEn Fiber will operate as a wholesale-only player and will build infrastructure for other licensed operators.

The EOF plan, in line with the European Digital Agenda and the Italian strategy for ultra-broadband, provides for EOF to build in through several steps to be released in sequence the optical fibre telecommunications network in 224 Italian municipalities, in successful market areas (known as clusters A and B).

This network will be built entirely of optical fibre brought right up to the customer's home, in FTTH mode (fibre to the home).

In the early years of the plan, very high speed connections are expected to reach some 7.5 million homes, helping Italy to bridge its digital divide.

The plan through these phases will provide for investment of about 2.5 billion euros to be gradually approved with the support of other investors and aimed at the development of the network.

Commenting on the EOF plan, Francesco Starace, Enel CEO and general manager said: "The articulation of Enel OpEn Fiber’s strategic plan is a major step towards achieving the targets set out in the European Digital Agenda, as well as in the Italian strategy for ultra-broadband.

"Installing fibre cables through our electricity network, which reaches the businesses and homes of 32 million Italians, will enable wide-ranging coverage of the country at competitive costs, creating value for Enel and for all players that will want to use this new, important infrastructure."

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