(Corrects time in final paragraph to 1400 GMT)
* Net profit, core profit beats market forecasts
* Revenues in line with expectations
* Reiterates 2009 guidance
MADRID, July 30 (Reuters) - Telefonica TEF.MC announced a 0.7 percent rise in first half profit to 3.62 billion euros ($5.12 billion) on Thursday, outpacing analyst expectations as strength in its Latin America and cost-cutting drove results.
While rivals have scaled down profit guidance for this year, Europe’s biggest telecoms company reiterated its full year guidance, in which it expects a 1 to 3 percent increase in operating profit before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA).
Latin America was once again the group’s dynamo, with mobile penetration there still growing and partly offsetting the impact of recession-hit Europe.
Revenues came in as expected, falling 2.0 percent to 27.59 billion euros, but OIBDA slid a less-than-expected 1.7 percent to 10.94 billion euros as Telefonica cut costs 4.5 percent.
According to a Reuters poll of nine analysts, Telefonica was on average expected to post revenues of 27.60 billion euros, OIBDA of 10.78 billion euros and net profit of 3.55 billion.
Telefonica’s 2010 target is for earnings per share of 2.30 euros, although some analysts express scepticism the company will get there.
The company holds a conference call at 1400 GMT.
Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Hans Peters
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