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Telmex Business-Client Growth Eases Blow of Phone Defections

Telefonos de Mexico SAB, the fixed-line unit of America Movil SAB, said fourth-quarter profit climbed 21 percent as demand from business customers helped blunt the blow of customer losses.

Net income rose to 4.09 billion pesos ($322 million), or 23 centavos a share, from 3.37 billion pesos, or 19 centavos, a year earlier, according to a statement yesterday. Sales gained 4.2 percent to 29.1 billion pesos.

Telmex is pushing into the market for information technology projects for corporate customers while rivals such as Grupo Televisa SAB lure away phone customers. Billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil owns 93 percent of Telmex after paying $4.6 billion in November for the Telmex shares it didn’t already own.

Revenue from data services rose 26 percent to 10.3 billion pesos because of sales associated with a security and information-technology project and from services to corporations, Telmex said.

The fixed-line unit lost about 313,000 lines in the quarter, its biggest drop in two years. It closed 2011 with 14.8 million phone lines and 8 million high-speed Internet connections.

America Movil is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results today after the close of trading.

Telmex, which represents about 16 percent of America Movil’s sales, was unchanged at 10.10 pesos at the close in Mexico City. America Movil climbed 0.1 percent to 15.56 pesos.

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