Executives of Telefónica de España told journalists Wednesday, August 7, that they expect a net loss of 3.6 billion euros in 2002. This forecast can be considered optimistic given the first-half result: a net loss of 5.57bn euros, compared with net income of 1.14bn euros in the corresponding period of last year. Investors saw it as optimistic, anyway: in the U.S. the ADR rose 2.67% to 26.58 US Dollars, while in Brazil the BDR closed up 1.15% on 26.30 reals after a period of fluctuations attributed to ?country risk?. Local investors and executives have no cause for complaint about the company?s operations in Brazil, where revenue rose 11.5% in the first half in local currency and fell only 1.7% in euros. Brazil increased its share in group EBITDA from 21.4% to 22.6%.
Aside from losses in Argentina, Telefonica?s biggest headaches are in Europe. It?s been forced to inject 4.8bn euros to fill financial gaps and cover expenses in mobile telephony, television and, in particular, faltering operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. To stave off balance-sheet deterioration it?s selling assets such as Dutch TV production company Endemol, for which it paid the equivalent of 5bn euros in 2000. Latin America is hardly a success story either. Regional revenue totaled 3.97bn euros, down 23.3% year over year owing to the Argentine crisis and above all depreciation of local currencies (11.9% in Brazil, 8.6% in Chile, 63% in Argentina).