Latin America boosts profits at Telefonica

TELEFONICA yesterday revealed the benefits of its a long-time investment in still-booming Latin America.<br /><br />The emerging region helped drive forecast-beating first quarter profit at Europe&rsquo;s largest telecoms company, offsetting weakness in its home market of Spain.<br /><br />Telefonica beat market expectations with a 9.8 per cent rise in net profit, as growth in Latin America&ndash; and Brazil in particular &ndash; helped offset weakness in Spain and allowed the company to stick to full year forecasts.&nbsp;Average revenue per user in Spain was down 9.5 per cent from the same period last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;Latin America continues to drive growth forward and has truly become the company&rsquo;s crown jewel,&rdquo; said Michael Kovacocy, European telecoms analyst at Daiwa.