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Latin America boosts Telefonica

12 November 09 08:38 GMT

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica, owner of the O2 mobile network, has reported a rise in nine-month profits.

A strong performance in Latin America helped to lift net income by 0.3% to 5.6bn euros ($8.4bn; £5.1bn).

In Spain, which accounts for a third of its revenues, Telefonica says customer numbers are up despite the recession.

Telefonica Europe chief executive Matthew Key told the BBC that both the consumer and commercial market are showing signs of recovery there.

In the UK, the firm has lost its rights to exclusively sell the iPhone. Mr Key said they would still sell the phone, but also concentrate on other new products such as the Palm Pre.

He added that Telefonica was keen to expand the O2 brand in Germany where he said the brand is only third or fourth in the market.

In Latin America, Telefonica has 170 million customers and it expects the market to continue growing strongly.

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