US-based telecoms group Verizon Communications has reported a 5.3% year-on-year rise in net profit for the first quarter of 2009. Net income for the period ended 31 March 2009 was USD3.21 billion, up from USD3.05 in the same period a year earlier. The company announced operating revenues of USD26.6 billion for the first three months of 2009, an 11.6% rise on the total in 1Q 2008. These gains were in part offset by rising operating expenses, up 12.3% year-on-year to USD21.9 billion. The acquisition of mobile operator Alltel by Verizon Wireless boosted the company’s results, with 13.2 million net additions in the first quarter as a result of the takeover. The cellco ended March 2009 with a total of 86.6 million subscribers, 84.1 million of which are retail customers, a 29% rise on the first quarter of 2008. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group; Verizon holds a 55% stake in the mobile operator. Verizon reported growth in its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband base, with 298,000 net additions in the first quarter of 2009, giving the company a total of 2.78 million FTTP subscriptions.