Swedish-based international telecoms group TeliaSonera has reported a strong financial performance in the second quarter of 2009, driven by cost savings. Consolidated net revenues in the three months ended 30 June increased 8.7% year-on-year to SEK27.478 billion (USD3.657 billion), up from SEK25.274 billion in 2Q08, although it also reported that net sales in local currencies and excluding new acquisitions decreased by 0.7%. The addressable cost base in local currencies and excluding acquisitions decreased 5.8%, helping EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, rise 13.3% to SEK9.043 billion, up from SEK7.978 billion a year ago, and the EBITDA margin increase to 32.9% (31.6%). Operating income, excluding non-recurring items, rose 10.3% to SEK8.176 billion (SEK7.410 billion), and net income attributable to owners of the parent company rose to SEK4.469 billion (SEK4.130 billion). During the second quarter, the group’s total number of subscriptions grew by more than 2.4 million, of which 900,000 were in majority-owned operations and 1.5 million were accounted for by associated companies, giving a grand total of 139.4 million users.
Lars Nyberg, President and CEO of TeliaSonera, commented: ‘I am very pleased that despite a challenging macroeconomic environment in the second quarter, we reported among the highest EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, in the company’s history. We are delivering on the issues that we can control ourselves, namely cost reductions and careful capital spending. As a result, our cash flow for the first six months more than doubled compared to last year’s first half. Our cost efficiency measures are now having visible effects throughout our operations and in Sweden and Finland operating expenses decreased by as much as 12% in the second quarter. We maintained the profitability improvement in Broadband Services and also noted some effects within Mobility Services. At the same time, Eurasia maintained its high profitability. Looking ahead, we expect that our efforts to lower addressable costs and capital expenditure will offset the negative impact from declining GDP and rising unemployment in our markets. Therefore we are raising our outlook on the EBITDA margin and now expect a higher margin in 2009 than in 2008.’