Telefonica Group has reported revenues of EUR12.0 billion (USD13.4 billion) for the three months ended 31 March 2019, down 1.7% on an annualised basis. The Spanish group’s first quarter activity was impacted by its Latin American subsidiaries: Telefonica Brasil saw its top-line drop 5.2% year-on-year, to EUR2.6 billion, while revenues for ‘Telefonica Hispam Sur’ (encompassing its businesses in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay) plummeted 12.1% y-o-y, to EUR1.6 billion. Elsewhere, sales for ‘Telefonica Hispam Norte’ (Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Ecuador and Venezuela) were flat, at EUR971 million.
Elsewhere, Telefonica Deutschland and Telefonica UK generated sales of EUR1.8 billion (6.6%), respectively, while domestic unit Telefonica Espana recorded an 0.3% increase in first quarter sales, to EUR3.1 billion. Group OIBDA for the first quarter increased 10.3% to EUR4.3 billion, while operating income for 1Q19 edged up 0.7%, to EUR1.7 billion. Net income attributable to equity holders of the parent company was reported at EUR926 million, up 10.6% on an annualised basis.
In operational terms, Telefonica reported consolidated mobile accesses of 266.949 million at 31 March, of which 121.494 million were LTE users. In addition, the Spanish group reported 21.956 million internet and data users, 34.263 million fixed telephony accounts and 8.828 million pay-TV subscribers. (Note: Guatemalan accesses were excluded from Telefonica’s figures, following the USD333 million divestment of Telefonica Guatemala in January 2019.)
Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, executive chairman at Telefonica, commented: ‘We have started the year by extending our leadership in fibre and 4G deployment, testing new 5G capabilities and making progress in the UNICA virtualisation programme, allowing us to continue gaining customer relevance through better experience and higher average lifetime. The first quarter results showed a significant improvement in revenue growth trends and double-digit growth in net income and earnings per share. Strong cash generation, which was three times higher than the figure reported in the first quarter of the previous year, allowed for an acceleration in debt reduction, for the eighth consecutive quarter, further strengthening our balance sheet.’