Tuesday 21 November 2017

Telefonica expects 7pc revenue rise this year

A man walks past Telefonica's building in central Madrid. Reuters/Juan Medina
A man walks past Telefonica's building in central Madrid. Reuters/Juan Medina

Spain's Telefonica said it expected revenue to rise by more than 7 percent this year as it reported annual results hit by a weaker Venezuelan currency, restructuring costs in Germany and asset sales in non-core markets.

Telefonica said it would raise up to €3bn through a rights issue in connection with the acquisition of Vivendi's Brazilian unit GVT in a deal announced last year.

Europe's biggest telecoms group by revenue reported a 35pc fall in its annual net profit to €3bn, while operating income fell 19pc to  €15.52bn, with both results slightly missing forecasts.

Telefonica had already warned last week that the devaluation of the bolivar would knock €399m off its net profit.

Revenue stabilised in its key home market, where it has been trying to win back cash-strapped consumers with bundled packages of mobile, fixed-line broadband and TV services after investing heavily in faster networks.

Net debt was €45.1bn at the end of December, above a year-end target of €43bn due to the weakening of the Venezuelan bolivar, the company said.

Seeking to cut its debt and concentrate new investment on core markets in Spain, Germany and Brazil, Telefonica has already sold subsidiaries in Ireland and the Czech Republic and agreed last month to sell its British O2 business to Hutchison Whampoa for up to £10.25bn.

Provided the deal gets approved, cash from the sale will help the Spanish group cut debt to about £35bn according to analysts' estimates, helping sustain one of the highest dividend yields in the sector at 5.4pc, according to Thomson Reuters data.


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