Debt mountain looms higher...Telecom Italia's net profits crashed 50.7 per cent in net profits for its first half of 2001 and the telco was less than optimistic about the second half, warning of a major reduction for full year totals. Net profits fell down after purchases of internet companies clocked up considerable goodwill amortisation and debt, standing at E483m ($438m) compared to E979m ($886m) in the same period last year. While earnings before depreciation and amortisation rose by 9.7 per cent to E15.6bn ($14.2bn), so did the company's debts, which increased to E1.6bn ($1.44bn) from E654m ($592m) since 2000. Net debts are expected to remain at E25bn (£22.6bn), despite assurances from former chief Roberto Colaninno's in June that debts would drop to E20bn ($18.1bn). Management changed hands in July this year when the company was acquired by Pirelli. Significant changes to the organisation are expected, including the sale of recent purchases to reduce its debt mountain.