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Simobil Pays First Dividends to Austrian Owner

Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - A decade after the Telekom Austria Group acquired the fledgling Simobil, Slovenia's second-largest mobile operator will for the first time make a dividend payout to its owner, the company confirmed on Friday.

Simobil told STA that it would pay EUR 10m in dividends to Mobilkom, the mobile wing of Telekom Austria, as part of the distribution of profit from 2010.

This comes after it had paid for all back losses stemming from the construction of its network and development of the brand on the Slovenian market dating back to its launch in 1999.

The fledgling operator was bought by Mobilkom two years after its launch and has since taken a firm grip as the No. 2 operator, holding roughly 30% of the market, with the help of investments from its Austrian parents.

Despite the dividend payout, Simobil has assured that it would not skimp on investments. Its representatives said plans for this year envisaged investments outstripping the EUR 15m set aside for this purpose in 2010.

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