July 5, 2022

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Palette defends his six years at the helm of Telefónica: 'We are bigger than Netflix or Twitter' |  Economie

Palette defends his six years at the helm of Telefónica: ‘We are bigger than Netflix or Twitter’ | Economie

Jose Maria Alvarez Ballet, during the 2022 general shareholder meeting, held Friday in Madrid.Rodrigo Jimenez (EFE)

Telefónica’s president, Jose Maria Alvarez Ballet, defended his management of the six years at the helm of the company At the group’s shareholder meeting, he highlighted that with 370 million customers, 47 million more than when he took office in April 2016, they are “a bigger platform than Twitter or Netflix”. During his tenure as president of the company after he replaced Cesar Alerta Debt reduced by more than 23,000 million euros, Which was reduced at the end of 2021 to 26.032 million. In addition, private funds have risen by more than 3,000 million and more than 15,000 million have been handed over to shareholders in dividends and share buybacks, according to the head of the Spanish multinational.

Within this balance of his mandate, Palette explained that in the past six years, income from broadband and digital services has gone from less than 50% to 70%, nearly 48,000 million have been invested, and operations have been carried out for companies for more than 35,000 million euros. , “including the largest operation in our history,” referring to O2’s merger with Virgin in the UK.

The president also noted the technological capability of Telefónica’s network, with a data processing power of 11.5 petaflops, “higher than that of the largest Spanish supercomputer”, and a data storage capacity of 176 petabytes, “equivalent to 26 consecutive centuries of high-resolution content”, and has It has tripled in the past six years.

Balletti began his talk with an analysis of the geopolitical situation in the past two years that have characterized the epidemic And today because of the war in Ukraine, warned of the spread of misinformation. For the manager, the state of the logistics chain, semiconductors or rare metals illustrates the fragility of the “economic model” and that “the world of radical globalization has disappeared.” We are entering uncharted territory, with different rules, where we must live with a fear of the unknown, where nothing is guaranteed. He emphasized that we will have a great need, as a society, to fight for the values ​​we believe in. For this reason, he demanded progress towards a better world through the use of “the largest accumulation of technology in history.”

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The head of Telefónica has warned of the dangers of attacks on truth that are now being produced by machines and algorithms. “We lose that right because now it’s not the people, but the algorithms, that put before our eyes what catches our eye the most, which is why we spend more time inside those platforms in closed environments, to get to know ourselves better, to get to know each other better, to be able On placing those ads, those products that suit us best,” he noted.

The company held its Madrid shareholder meeting in a hybrid format – face-to-face and virtual – while hitting its highest price on the stock exchange since June 2020. Shares have accumulated an annual revaluation of 18% after rising 19% last year, leaving behind a 2020 penalty, As a result of the Corona virus crisis.

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Orange-MásMovil . merger

For his part, Telefónica CEO Angel Villa described the ongoing merger between Orange and MásMóvil as “very positive”, as he considers that it will provide sustainability and rationality, both for the retail market and for the wholesale market, as he indicated that the company has an agreement with MásMóvil to share the network. . On shareholder questions during the meeting, Villa emphasized that any consolidation would be “welcome” in a “highly fragmented market” and that scale is needed to drive the costs of future networks like 5G and generate capital returns on adequate investment for other players in the market. In this sense, he hoped that movement to the market, business and prices will be carried over before closing in 2023. He also emphasized that the valuation at which the operation was closed (nearly 20,000 million euros) shows the “implicit value” of the company that is not reflected in the market (Telefónica’s entire business is valued at more than 26,000 million euros).

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The CEO confirmed that with this operation, Telefónica will no longer be the dominant operator in the broadband and mobile markets and urged the National Market and Competition Commission (CNMC) to account for the platforms flow Like Netflix or HBO in their accounts for the pay-TV market, including the eight million pay-TV users who use these platforms.

Back to cash dividends

The general meeting of Telefónica shareholders, on Friday, in Madrid.
The general meeting of Telefónica shareholders, on Friday, in Madrid.EFE

The shareholders’ meeting approved the cash dividend, after they recently resorted to Dividendwith the payment of €0.30 on account of fiscal year 2021 in cash, which will be paid in two tranches: December of this year and June 2023. Palette argued that cash generation allows this exchange and does not rule out the new purchase of treasury shares to increase shareholder returns as long as rating agencies do not prejudice the assessment of company.

The board also voted to amortize 139.27 million shares, equivalent to 2.41% of the capital, which the company currently owns in treasury shares. In this sense, Telefónica has accelerated share buybacks over the past year, reaching around 500 million euros. He gave his approval to the number of directors at 15, the re-election of José María Abril as special director, Angel Villa as CEO, Maria Luisa García Blanco as independent director, and Javier de Paz as other external director, as well as to certify Maria Rotondo as independent.

Shareholders also voted to approve annual accounts, management reports and board remuneration, including extraordinary remuneration for board members, the most controversial agenda item, as it has led to the payout of key executives at multinational companies. 2021, Especially those of the President and CEOwhich increased by 68% and 71% respectively compared to the previous year.

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