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Telefonica to focus on organic growth after buys

SANTANDER, Spain (Reuters) - Spain's Telefonica TEF.MC plans to focus on developing new internet services and growing its business organically, after nearly a decade of aggressive acquisitions, its chief executive officer said late on Monday.

“One of Telefonica’s strategic priorities is to set up a global division to develop and implement new internet products and services,” CEO Julio Linares told journalists in comments embargoed until 1000 GMT on Tuesday.

After recent expansion in key growth markets such as Germany and Brazil, the Spanish telecoms group now has 278 million clients and sufficient critical mass to focus on organic growth, Linares said.

“We have very little left on our pending list to do,” he said.

Last month, Telefonica secured a 7.5 billion euro ($9.5 billion) deal to buy control of Brazilian mobile joint venture Vivo VIVO4.SA. Earlier in the year, it acquired German broadband company HanseNet to reinforce its position in the highly competitive German market.

Linares said the new internet services and products will be implemented in the company’s main markets and will make a significant contribution to revenue, although he declined to provide more details.

(Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Judy MacInnes; Editing by David Holmes)

($1=.7911 Euro)

((judith.macinnes@thomsonreuters.com; 34 91 585 8340; Reuters Messaging: judith.macinnes.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: TELEFONICA/GROWTH

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