First quarter net income at Verizon Communications fell 8.4% after losses incurred from discontinued operations more than offset strong performance from its wireless arm and the growing popularity of its fibre-optic service, FiOS. The New York-based telco posted net income of USD1.50 billion for the first three months of 2007, compared with USD1.63 billion last year after incurring losses relating to the renationalisation of the telecoms industry in Venezuela, the sale of assets in Puerto Rico and an accounting change. Revenue, however, increased by 6.4% to USD22.58 billion, leading to Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg to say that ‘Verizon is off to a strong start in 2007. Our results [show] that across the board we have accelerated organic growth in key markets: retail wireless, broadband, data, video and global IP.’
Verizon Wireless, the 55%/45% joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone, enjoyed revenue growth of 17% year-on-year to USD10.30 billion and added 1.7 million net new subscribers to bring the total number of users to 60.3 million. Verizon’s traditional landline business deteriorated further with revenue slipping 3.5% to USD4.20 billion as the telco continued to lose residential phone users as well as long-distance customers acquired following the acquisition of MCI. This was partially offset by the addition of 416,000 net new high speed internet customers taking the total to 7.4 million. The FiOS subscriber base enjoyed similarly impressive growth, up 177,000 in the quarter to 864,000.