Telefonica's nine-month net profit falls
Telecoms group reaches year-end debt target ahead of schedule
Spanish telecom group Telefonica was hit by a weak home market and declining Latin American currencies. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg
Spanish telecom group Telefonica posted a 9 per cent drop in nine-month net profit today, hit by a weak home market and declining Latin American currencies, although it slightly beat analysts’ forecasts.
The company - which this week reached a deal to sell its Czech unit, paid its first dividend in 18 months and opened the door to raising its investment in Telecom Italia - said net profit reached €3.145 billion versus a Reuters poll for €2.997 billion.
Revenues also fell 8.4 per cent to €42.63 billion while operating income before depreciation and amortisation was down 10.7 per cent to €14.1 billion.
Telefonica said there were signs of stabilisation of the European market in the third quarter and that its strategy of focusing on cutting one of the highest debt loads among major European companies by selling non-core assets in Europe and Latin America would soon pay off.
The group said net debt stood at €46.1 billion at end-September, meeting the company’s year-end target of a debt below €47 billion three months ahead of time.
It reiterated its guidance for revenue growth, improved operating margins, stable sales and investments and a 75 cent dividend for 2013. (Reuters)