Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has reported its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2009, revealing a better-than-expected increase in core earnings for the fiscal quarter. Telenor posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of NOK8.52 billion (USD1.51 billion) for the three-month period, a 14.4% year-on-year rise, while group revenue rose 3.9% to NOK24.3 billion. Net profit jumped 12.4% to NOK3.79 billion. Commenting on the results, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor’s president and CEO, said: ‘In the third quarter of 2009 we delivered a solid EBITDA margin, and revenue trends in line with the previous quarters this year. The strong EBITDA, combined with continued CAPEX control resulted in a high operating cash flow.’
The group reported that its operations in Central and Eastern Europe had been affected by the region’s economic downturn, but said that margins and operating cash flow remained solid. In Asia, meanwhile, Telenor Pakistan was singled out, with the group noting that the subsidiary was making good progress towards an anticipated cash flow break-even in 2010, with the unit increasing revenue for the quarter by 19.6% compared to the same period a year earlier. Bangladesh’s GrameenPhone, however, led the way in terms of revenue growth for the group, reporting a 24.1% y-o-y rise to NOK2.15 billion. Telenor also reiterated that it is on track to launch operations in India, under the recently announced Uninor brand name.
On the back of the results, Telenor increased its full-year EBITDA margin guidance from 34% to 35%, with Baksaas noting: ‘We expect that our focus on cost control and improved efficiency will enable us to deliver a slightly stronger EBITDA margin and lower investments than originally anticipated for 2009.’