Norwegian telecom group Telenor has announced its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2008, reporting lower earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the quarter at NOK7.35 billion (USD1.06 billion), down from NOK7.66 billion a year for the same period last year. Revenues for the group rose marginally however to NOK27.62 billion, a 3% increase, in line with the company’s forecast for the year, with the rise attributed mainly to growth in the number of subscriptions in Asian operations. Over the quarter the group added six million new mobile subscribers worldwide, bringing the total customer base to 159 million.
In addition to the results for the quarter, Telenor also announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a 60% stake in Indian cellco Unitech Wireless for USD1.07 billion, with Telenor Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas noting, ‘Gaining access to the world’s second-largest mobile market is a major achievement for Telenor.’ The company has announced that it will raise approximately NOK12 billion of the funding for the purchase through a rights issue in the first quarter of 2009. The Indian cellco, which was granted a pan-India universal access service licence (UASL) in January 2008, is expected to launch services by mid-2009.