UPDATE 1-Mexico’s Telmex will struggle to keep line numbers

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MEXICO CITY, Feb 4 (BestGrowthStock) – Telefonos de Mexico
(TELMEXL.MX: ) (TMX.N: ) will try to hold onto the 15.9 million
fixed lines it ended with last year as it faces rising
competition and invests more in Internet services, executives
said on Thursday.

“We will keep struggling to keep that level, trying to
increase that level; that is what you should expect to see in
the next quarters,” Chief Financial Officer Adolfo Cerezo told
analysts during a conference call.

The company disconnected 1.2 million lines in the fourth
quarter to get rid of clients who had not paid their bills.

A former government monopoly, Telmex is scrambling to
quickly build its Internet business to make up for a decline in
its fixed-line and long-distance telephone revenues as clients
switch to cellphones and telephone services offered by cable
television companies.

“This is not a business any more in which we are selling
lines,” Cerezo said. “We are using lines for selling products
and services, and that is the scope that we currently have.”

Revenues from Internet access and corporate network sales
were the only areas that posted growth year-over-year in the
fourth quarter. Income from local services and long distances
were down in the quarter, along with interconnection fees.

Cerezo also said that Telmex, controlled by billionaire
Carlos Slim, had amortized a $950 million bond last month.

Telmex shares were off 4.53 percent at 10.33 pesos in
afternoon trading.

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(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz, Tomas Sarmiento, editing by
Gerald E. McCormick)

UPDATE 1-Mexico’s Telmex will struggle to keep line numbers