Telefónica Group’s first quarter net profit beat analysts’ expectations to rise 39.6% to EUR1.27 billion (USD1.64 billion), boosted by last year’s consolidation of Cesky Telecom and the integration of O2 Group in February this year. Telefónica said OIBDA grew 37.3% to EUR4.69 billion in the first three months of 2006, on the back of a 45.4% rise in revenues to EUR12.04 billion. The group invested more than EUR1.3 billion in the quarter, much of which was ploughed into broadband businesses in Spain and Latin America. Net debt grew to EUR53.51 billion at the end of March, up from EUR30.07 at the start of the year, as a result of the increased spending and acquisitions.
At the end of March, Telefónica Group’s total number of accesses reached 186.1 million, a year-on-year increase of 42.2%, with cellular and retail broadband accesses accounting for the bulk of new additions; retail broadband accesses stood at 6.3 million, up 55.4%. Earlier this week the group’s majority owned wireless subsidiary Telefónica Móviles (TEM) reported 98.5 million subscribers worldwide, up 21% on 1Q2005, 75 million of which were in Latin America.