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MADRID (AP) - Spanish telecoms company Telefonica said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit rose 21 percent to 902 million euros ($1.18 billion) despite a fall in revenues in its key Latin American market.

The company, which has mobile and fixed-line operations across Europe and Latin America, said that revenue from its business in Brazil had overtaken its domestic market for the first time. Sales in the Latin American country reached 3.263 billion euros, while a 16.4 percent drop in recession-strapped Spain left income at 3.260 billion euros.

The Brazilian figure was down 10 percent in euros- because of exchange rate fluctuations- but up 3 percent in the local currency, Telefonica said.

Income in Latin America dropped by 4 percent to 7.23 billion euros- again due to exchange rate fluctuations. In Europe, where many countries are in recession, income fell 11 percent to 6.67 billion euros.

Telefonica said overall revenue dropped 9 percent to 14.14 billion euros from 15.51 billion euros in the same period last year.

The company said net debt edged up to 51.8 billion euros from 51.3 billion at the end of 2012. The fall in the Venezuelan bolivar added to borrowings.

Telefonica SA's shares were down 1.2 percent at 11.15 euros in trading in Madrid.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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