Telefonica says nine-month profits fall 9%

Spanish Telecoms giant says profits fell in the first nine months of 2014 (AFP Photo/Dominique Faget) (AFP/File)

Madrid (AFP) - The sale of subsidiaries in Ireland and the Czech Republic sapped Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica's profits in the first nine months of 2014, the company said on Wednesday.

The group's net profits fell by 9.4 percent between January and September compared to the same period a year earlier, to 2.85 billion euros ($3.6 billion), it said in a statement.

The company's preferred measure, operating income before depreciation and amortisation, fell 12.6 percent to 12.33 billion euros. Sales fell by 11 percent to 38 billion euros.

The sell-off of subsidiaries Telefonica Czech Republic and Telefonica Ireland weighed on profits for the period, the company said. Those businesses disappeared from its accounts in July.

Also, "the year-on-year evolution of exchange rates negatively impacted financial results," it added, citing currency depreciation in Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil.

Telefonica's chairman Cesar Alierta said he saw scope for growth thanks to the recent acquisition of E-Plus in Germany and its move to buy broadband firm GVT in Brazil.