Spain's leading telecom services company, Telefónica, which also includes the Movistar brand and Britain's O2, announced a 32.2 per cent increase in annual profits at its AGM on Thursday morning.
The multinational company told shareholders in Madrid that it had made a 3.13 billion euro profit in 2017. It added that despite the negative impact of exchange rates in some of the markets it operates in and less income from roaming charges now EU rules have changed, it was helped by the sale of assets, such as part of Telxius, a telco infrastructure operator, and fewer restructuring expenses during the year.
Worldwide sales in 2017 were flat at just over 52,000 billion euros, hindered by the weakness of the British pound, Argentinean peso and Venezuelan bolívar. By market, only Brazil increased sales, by 8.4 per cent, while others fell: 1.3 per cent in Spain, 2.8 per cent in Germany, 4.7 per cent in the UK and 0.2 per cent in Ibero America. In Spain Telefónica had 40.9 million customers, down 0.6 per cent.
The dividend for 2018 has been set at 0.40 euros for every share held.