Swedish-based telecoms group Tele2 has reported that its consolidated turnover for the first three months of 2012 reached SEK10.481 billion (USD1.550 billion), a 9% increase on the same quarter of 2011. EBITDA also grew in the quarter ended 31 March 2012, climbing 1% year-on-year to SEK2.571 billion, despite a 17% drop in operating profit (EBIT) to SEK1.383 billion and a 29% plunge in net profit to SEK869 million. The EBITDA margin dropped by one percentage point year-on-year to 25%, as Tele2 was forced to raise spending and slice profit margins to combat toughening competition. The group reported that it continued to see increasing customer demand for smartphones and data services in Sweden, which drove a 4% rise in mobile revenues in its domestic market.
In Q1 2012 Tele2’s flagship cellular subsidiary in Russia added a net 304,000 new mobile customers, although this was less than the 547,000 it signed up in January-March 2011. It reached a total of 20.9 million Russian cellular subscribers at the end of the period under review, up from 19.0 million twelve months earlier, while first-quarter EBITDA rose to SEK1.063 billion from SEK942 million a year earlier. Also in the east, Tele2 Kazakhstan continued to expand into new regions of the country, driving a quarterly mobile customer net intake of 332,000 (compared to a net reduction of 24,000 in the year-ago quarter), reaching a total user base of 1.703 million at end-March 2012 (up from 308,000 a year previously).