Swedish telecoms group Tele2 has reported that consolidated net sales in Q3 2012 rose by 4.6% year-on-year to SEK10.91 billion (USD1.65 billion), or excluding exchange rate differences and one-off items, an increase of 9%. It attributed its revenue growth mainly to ‘sustained success’ in mobile services and the integration of the Network Norway business into the group. Tele2’s consolidated CAPEX in the three months to the end of September 2012 amounted to SEK1.23 billion, compared to SEK1.29 billion a year earlier, with the majority of spending driven by network expansion in Sweden, Norway, Russia and Kazakhstan. EBITDA in Q3 2012 reached SEK3.00 billion, up slightly from SEK2.99 billion twelve months earlier, supported by improved EBITDA contribution in Norway, Sweden and Russia thanks to ‘a more favourable market environment.’ Quarterly net profit stood at SEK980 million, down from SEK1.26 billion in 3Q11.
Net customer intake in 3Q12 was 1.401 million, compared to 1.216 million in 3Q11, with mobile net additions reaching 1.517 million (1.325 million). This trend was mainly driven by customer intake in Tele2 Russia, complemented by solid growth at Tele2 Kazakhstan, whose respective customer bases grew by 710,000 (681,000) and 589,000 (459,000) in three months. The group’s fixed broadband customer base lost 16,000 (34,000) customers in the quarter, primarily attributable to Tele2’s operations in the Netherlands and in Germany. At 30 September 2012 the total customer base stood at 37.671 million (33.506 million).
Regarding its 4G mobile development, Tele2 said: ‘Swedish customers are very technology-prone, as they confirm their interest in 4G services, prompting us to further complement our existing handset portfolio before year-end. We are expecting manufacturers to release more 4G-enabled devices in the market in Q4 2012, thereby driving demand for more data which we are ready to service with innovative offers.’ It added that ‘Tele2 Estonia worked on making its network ready for commercial LTE launch at the end of this year.’
In Russia, Tele2 said it was ‘disappointed’ by the decision of the regulator to postpone the introduction of technology neutrality, thereby continuing to block its access to 3G or 4G spectrum, but on a positive note it added that, based on demand, ’from a regional perspective 2G/EDGE services will continue to be required and developed for many years to come.’