Debt-laden telecoms firm reports profit fall
Heavily indebted telecoms giant Telefonica said yesterday that its net profit fell close to 14 percent last year to 2.36 billion euros, hit by restructuring costs linked to a voluntary redundancy scheme in Spain.
The results come just days after the group -- on the hunt for cash to reduce its debt pile - agreed to sell up to 40 percent of its infrastructure unit Telxius to U.S. investment fund KKR for 1.27 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
The group is also considering a possible listing of its British unit O2. Without the impact of restructuring costs, Telefonica said it would have made a net profit of 4 billion euros in 2016. It also managed to slightly reduce its debt to just under 48.6 billion euros, from more than 49 billion euros at the end of 2015. Analysts at the Madrid-based Bankinter said the results were mixed, with good performances in Spain and Brazil, but weaker results in Germany and Britain. Shares in the company were up 2.19 percent at 9.56 euros mid-morning, as analysts welcomed the debt reduction.