Euronews: Telefónica Plans Israeli 'Incubator'

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), 3 Group , Telecom Italia (TIM) and Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) proffer something for the weekend in today's trot through the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Telefónica is planning to set up a startup "incubator" in Israel, according to the Globes website. Earlier this month the operator announced plans to expand its "Wayra" incubator program across its European footprint. (See Telefónica to Hatch Startups .)

  • Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY) reported healthy profits for 2011, with its overall financial progress helped by improvements at 3 Group, which has mobile operations in nine Asia/Pacific and European markets (including Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and the U.K.). The 3 Group reported a 16 percent increase in revenues to HK$74.3 billion (US$9.6 billion) and a global customer base of 31.6 million. All of the individual market operations reported an improvement in underlying operating profits except for the Australian operation, which suffered network issues in late 2010 and early 2011. Hutchison 3G Austria GmbH is soon to expand further if regulatory approval is granted for its acquisition of Orange Austria Telecommunication GmbH. (See this Euronews from February.)

  • Southern Europe isn't a great place to be, telecom-wise, at the moment, as Telecom Italia's 2011 full-year results confirm: The operator made a net loss of €3.5 billion ($4.6 billion), though this was largely attributable to a goodwill write-down on its domestic business. (See Euronews: Telecom Italia Boss Thinks Positive.)

  • Still down south, Portugal Telecom saw net fourth-quarter income fall to €37.6 million ($50 million), down from $54.5 million ($72.5 million) a year earlier, reports Bloomberg. The figures are, however, skewed by the sale of Vivo to Telefónica in 2010. (See Euronews: Testing Times for Portugal Telecom.)

  • Ireland's ailing incumbent operator, eir , has applied for "examinership," Reuters reports. The process is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and will allow the company to restructure its $5 billion debt. (See Lenders to Lean on Eircom.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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