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Telefónica loses pay-TV momentum in Europe

Telefónica enjoyed subscriber growth in all markets in which it operates pay-TV services during the first quarter of this year, but with only 3% growth in its native Spain, appears to have stalled domestically.

Its Spanish pay-TV base remained stable at 813,000 customers, up 3% year-on-year, and across Europe as a whole the company’s pay-TV base rose just 4% to reach 1mn.

In Latin America however, the pay-TV customer base rose a heartening 23% to reach 2.3mn, with pay-TV accesses in Brazil rising 34% to reach 683,000. In Chile, the number of pay-TV accesses rose 12% annually to reach 401,000.

In Peru, its pay-TV base stood at 828,000 by the end of March, up 16% year-on-year, while in Colombia the number of pay-TV accesses reached 255,000, with a year-on-year increase of 17%.

Telefónica’s revenues – whose growth is one of the company’s key priorities for 2012 – significantly improved the pace of their quarter-on-quarter growth (up +0.5% year-on-year vs. a drop of -1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011) to reach €15.5bn.

This performance is attributed to a “hefty” increase in accesses, which likewise stepped up their pace of growth (up +6.5% year-on-year), boosting their customer base to 309mn accesses by the end of March.

In underlying terms (excluding exceptional impacts), net profit amounted to €1.284bn euros, which represents a year-on-year drop of 26.6%, due largely to Telefónica’s increased stake in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo and to minority interests at Colombia Telecom.

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