Exceptional items including an impairment related to joint venture Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) and a provision for a restructure in Spain led Telefonica to a loss in Q4 2023, though CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete pointed to positive underlying trends across the year.

In its statement covering the whole of 2023, the executive highlighted it had met financial targets, returning to growth and upping profitability while also pointing to a continued push to increase its social impact.

However in terms of its bottom line, the company booked a net loss attributable to shareholders of €2.2 billion in Q4 and €892 million across the year on one-off items. This compared with a profit of €525 million in Q4 2022 and €2 billion for the full year.

Revenue was flat at €10.2 billion in Q4 and up 1.6 per cent across the year at €40.7 billion.

Among the impairments was a provision for an employee lay-off plan in Spain and a goodwill impairment of VMO2 emanating from “the rise in discount rates and macroeconomic conditions in the UK”.

In total, the company recorded more than €1.1 million in restructuring costs in Q4 and €1.7 billion in other charges including the VMO2 sum.

Alvarez-Pallete noted the company “continues to execute its roadmap, not stopping against global macroeconomic uncertainty”, adding Telefonica had “returned to growth, with higher profitability and, moreover, in a more sustainable way”.