Telefónica Q1 profits rise by 22%

Telefónica's total revenue was €14 billion for the first quarter of 2008, up 1.1%. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation was €5.4 billion, up 5.3% on last year, while net income was €1.5 billion, up 22.4%.

The growth was largely driven by the operator's fixed and mobile units in Latin America, however the results also indicate that Telefónica has not been hit by the economic slowdown in Spain.

Also, O2 Germany, which took a pounding in 2006 when Vodafone and T-Mobile embarked on a price war appears to have stabilised, generating €855 million in the first quarter of this year, up 1.5% on the same period last year and the first phase of revenue growth for a year.

However, the weakness of the British pound and the selling off of Airwave, the emergency services' TETRA network,  meant that overall European revenue outside Spain fell by 1.7% in the first quarter.

Telefónica also said it is pushing ahead with its share buy-back programme and now expects to have acquired 100m shares by the middle of 2009.

There are also high hopes for the iPhone factor: Telefónica said it will shortly make a joint statement with Apple concerning arrangements for the imminent 3G model.