Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has today posted first-quarter core earnings broadly in line with forecasts thanks to reduced operating expenses and a partial economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Telefonica has today reported core earnings of €3.42 billion compared with the €3.36 billion average forecast from analysts polled by the company.

A large part of the cash generated during the quarter was allocated to spectrum auctions in the UK, Spain and Chile.

Investments in radio frequencies vital to building out connectivity in the race to deploy next-generation 5G mobile data cost Telefonica €694m.

Its net profit stood at €886m, twice as much as the same quarter a year ago as the company recovered from the economic paralysis caused by Covid-19 lockdowns imposed last spring.

Telefonica's debt shrank by 6.4% to €35.8 billion while earnings per share more than doubled to 15 cent.