MADRID (AP) — Spanish telecom company Telefonica SA said Friday its fourth-quarter net profit rose 22 percent as an increase in customer numbers in Latin America helped boost revenue.
The company said profit in the October-December period totaled euro2.44 billion ($3.29 billion), compared to euro1.99 billion in the same period of 2008.
Revenue for the quarter was up 1.2 percent, from euro14.80 billion in the same stretch of 2008 to euro14.97 billion.
The company said there was a rise in commercial activity across all areas of operation in the fourth quarter, with the net increase in mobile customers over 6.8 million.
Telefonica said its Latin American operations “delivered a solid operating and financial performance,” posting the first positive year-on-year growth in net customer additions in 2009.
Revenue for the region rose to euro6.33 billion in the quarter, up 8 percent from the same period in 2008. The figures were an improvement on the third quarter, which saw revenue in the region off 2.3 per cent at euro5.6 billion.
Operations in Spain continued to suffer, with revenue down 1.6 percent to euro5.05 billion, although the company said this marked the second straight quarter in which the rate of decline slowed. In the third quarter, revenue had fallen 8.9 percent.
For the entire year, Telefonica said its net profit was up 2.4 percent to euro7.77 billion, from euro7.59 billion in 2008. Revenue for the 12-month period was down 2.1 percent to euro56.73 billion.
In midmorning trading, Telefonica shares were up 1.2 percent at euro17.10 ($23.07).