Spanish multinational telecoms giant Telefonica reported that its group revenues totalled EUR11.902 billion (USD13.274 billion) in the third quarter of 2019, and EUR36.023 billion in January-September 2019, increasing year-on-year by 1.7% and 0.7% respectively. In organic (local currencies) terms, revenues increased by 3.4% y-o-y in the third quarter and by 3.6% in the first nine months of the year, highlighting mobile handset sales growth acceleration (up 17.0%) and sustained service revenue growth (up 1.8%), and marked by strong performances in Telefonica’s main markets of Spain, Brazil, Germany and the UK. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) fell by 31.9% y-o-y to EUR2.748 billion in Q3 2019, although the group also reported underlying OIBDA of EUR4.243 billion excluding restructuring costs (minus EUR1.876 billion), capital gains (plus EUR301 million) and other factors. Net income/loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of the parent company was reported at minus EUR443 million in 3Q19 and positive EUR1.344 billion in 9M19, affected by EUR1.402 billion restructuring costs booked in the third quarter.
The group’s FTTx/cable broadband access networks reached 123 million premises passed at end-September 2019, including 54.5 million reported as ‘own network’, up 11% y-o-y, with 22.7 million fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in Spain, 20.7 million in Brazil and 11.1 million FTTx/cable across other Latin American countries. Retail FTTx/cable accesses grew by 11% y-o-y to 14.2 million. Fibre investment remained key for Telefonica, generating new revenues and efficiencies due to the dismantling of copper networks, while enabling up-to-10Gbps services and supporting optimal 5G deployment. Telefonica’s 4G LTE mobile network population coverage reached 79% across its international footprint at end-Q3 – up 2.3 percentage points y-o-y – including 95% in its European markets and 73% in its Latin American divisions, while LTE traffic accounted for 77% of the combined network total in the quarter and VoLTE reached 10% of total voice traffic.
Telefonica also announced the completion of a fibre-optic service rollout in Fuerteventura, La Palma and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The deployment, which began in February 2018, cost EUR1.8 million co-financed by the EU’s regional development programme and local authorities.