By Leila Abboud, Pamela Barbaglia and Stephen Jewkes PARIS/LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has lost a promising path to earnings growth by failing to secure Brazilian broadband business GVT and may now turn from hunter to hunted in a fast-consolidating telecoms industry. Winning the auction for French media company Vivendi's GVT was vital for both Telecom Italia and its rival, Spain's Telefonica, as their European markets have been shrinking. Italy was gripped by a mobile price war for much of last year, revenue is falling and competition remains tough. Telecom Italia lost out to Telefonica as it could not afford to top its 7.45-billion-euro offer for GVT.
Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby said Friday its net profit fell nine percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter as a setback in its industrial division offset gains in its key plantation business. The world's largest listed palm oil producer by acreage said net profit for the April-June quarter was 1.2 billion ringgit ($380 million), down 9 percent from the same quarter last year. For the full financial year the group recorded a 3.4 billion net profit, also down 9 percent from the previous financial year, but exceeding its target of 2.8 billion ringgit. "The group has been able to withstand a tough market environment in the past financial year," group chief executive Bakke Salleh said in a statement.