Tele2’s EBITDA grows 12%, 6% in Q4, FY

7 Feb 2012

Swedish telecoms group Tele2 has announced that its net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 reached SEK10.839 billion (USD1.612 billion), up by 7% year-on-year, and total annual revenues climbed 1% to SEK40.750 billion. EBITDA for the three months ended 31 December 2011 stood at SEK2.791 billion, up 12% on the same period of 2010, while annual EBITDA grew 6% to SEK10.852 billion. EBIT for Q4 2011 increased by 21% year-on-year to SEK1.640 billion but for FY2011 diminished by 2% to SEK6.968 billion; EBIT excluding one-off items rose 10% and 4% to SEK1.666 billion and SEK6.972 billion in 4Q11 and FY11 respectively. Quarterly net profit jumped 19% to SEK1.311 billion but the yearly bottom line dipped 24% to SEK4.904 billion.

Tele2’s consolidated net customer intake amounted to 103,000 in Q4 2011, compared to 728,000 in 2010’s final quarter, with the mobile user net additions amounting to 346,000 (859,000). Fixed broadband customers decreased by 17,000 in the three-month period. On 31 December 2011 the total customer base amounted to 34.186 million, up from 30.883 million a year earlier, thanks to continued growth in mobile services.

However, the growth rate slowed in the group’s Russian subscriber base, with more customers added in the fourth quarter at its Kazakhstan unit instead. In Q4 2011 Tele2 Russia added 250,000 (755,000) customers to give it a total base of 20.6 million (18.4 million). Russian EBITDA amounted to SEK1.209 billion (SEK899 million), equivalent to an EBITDA margin of 40% (up from 34%). Amongst other highlights, mobile revenue in Sweden grew by 7% as customer demand for smartphones and data services remained strong during the quarter. Tele2 Norway and Network Norway were fully integrated in the period, creating the third largest mobile operator in that country. During October-December Tele2 Kazakhstan continued to launch its brand in new regions, resulting in a quarterly customer intake of 249,000 (114,000) and an end-year subscriber total of 1.371 million (332,000). It now covers twelve out of 16 regions in Kazakhstan.

Although it also won licences for six additional regions in Russia, bringing its total to 43, Tele2 does not expect to be allowed to gain a 3G licence in the country, CEO Mats Granryd told Dow Jones Newswires. Tele2 Russia currently offers mobile data services based on EDGE technology, and Granryd pointed out: ‘Even though we’re not offering 3G data services in Russia, our data traffic grew 8.5% over the year in the fourth quarter. I think this proves that our data offering in Russia is still attractive.’ Despite being unable to obtain a 3G concession, Granryd said Tele2 hopes to be able to provide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) data services in Russia by participating in upcoming 4G licence auctions for the 800MHz frequency band, or via re-farming of the GSM 1800MHz spectrum range.

Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden, Tele2, Tele2 Russia, Tele2 Sweden (incl. Com Hem), Tele2-Altel (Mobile Telecom Service)