Also in today's EMEA roundup: TeliaSonera set to sell Yoigo unit; Huawei collaborates on NB-IoT, cybersecurity; Proximus makes progress.
Discounting the effects of one-off items such as headcount-related cost-cutting measures in its domestic market, Telefónica 's 2015 net profits surged nearly 30% year-on-year to €5.78 billion (US$6.36 billion), on revenues that grew 4% in organic terms to €47.22 billion ($51.9 billion). During the course of the year, Telefónica increased its number of fiber customers by 350%, while LTE subscribers tripled. Looking ahead, the carrier is guiding for revenue growth of more than 4% in 2016. For more details, see this press release.
Telia Company looks on course to sell Yoigo , its Spanish mobile operation, with bids expected in the region of €600 million (US$662 million), according to a report from Spanish newspaper Expansion. At least two rival bids are expected, one from venture capital firm Zegona, which would look to pair Yoigo with its cable operator asset Telecable, and Másmovil, which is looking to add mobile services to the broadband business it acquired last year from Orange (NYSE: FTE). The move to sell Yoigo appears to be part of TeliaSonera's efforts to focus on its Nordic operations. (See Zegona to Buy Telecable for €640M, Eurobites: Orange Sells Off Jazztel Assets and TeliaSonera: Timing May be 'Wrong' for Eurasia Sale.)
Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has been on an announcements blitz at Mobile World Congress this week, forging new relationships in Europe and beyond. Huawei's Spanish unit has signed a collaboration agreement with the Spanish National Institute of Cyber security (INCIBE) to promote the cause of cybersecurity in Spain, while its parent company has committed itself to more joint work with Telecom Italia (TIM) in the area of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology. (See Narrowband Cellular IoT Offers Clean Slate.)
Belgium's Proximus saw underlying revenues rise 2.2% year-on-year in 2015, to €5.99 billion ($6.59 billion), while underlying EBITDA rose 4.9% to €1.73 billion ($1.9 billion). During the year, Proximus invested heavily in its fixed network, deploying vectoring technology to bring downlink speeds of 100 Mbit/s to a third of its customers. (See Proximus Raises Outlook on Strong Q2.)
The German government is maintaining its pressure on Facebook to remove hate messages from its social network, reports Bloomberg. Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff met up with Mark Zuckerberg in Berlin on Thursday to press home the need for racist content to be removed from Facebook, particularly in the light of the large number of refugees currently entering Germany.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading