The financial health of Telefonica SA, Spain’s largest telephone company, continued to improve in 2003 as cost-cutting measures and the progressive improvement in its key Latin American operations helped turn a year-ago net loss into a profit.
For the year ending December 31, it posted a net profit of 2.2bn euros ($2.74bn), compared to a loss of 5.57bn euros ($6.93bn) a year earlier owing to restructuring charges linked to UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) preparations. Analysts had expected 2003 net profit of 1.9bn euros ($2.36bn) to 2.09bn euros ($2.6bn).
Revenue remained relatively flat at 28.39bn euros ($35.34bn), compared to 28.41bn euros ($35.35bn) in 2002.
The carrier said it is benefiting from soaring wireless revenue in its domestic market, and a recovery of the currency in Brazil where it owns South America’s largest wireless operator together with Portugal Telecom SGPS SA.
It said it plans to spend at least 4bn euros ($4.97bn) over 2003-2006 on share buybacks.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire