Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has released its financial results for the three- and nine-month periods ended 30 September 2012, posting a 2.5% year-on-year increase in quarterly revenue, while turnover rose by NOK2.6 billion (USD456 million) to NOK75.73 billion in the first nine months of the year, up 3.6% compared to 9M11. The company pointed to subscriber growth at its Asian subsidiaries as one of the drivers for higher revenues, along with improved handset sales in Sweden and ‘data revenue uplift’ in Norway; such factors, it claimed, had more than offset lower revenues in Denmark and Hungary, as well as negative currency effects of NOK900 million. EBITDA before other items meanwhile stood at NOK8.79 billion in 3Q12 and at NOK24.57 billion in 9M12, up 6.1% and 6.3% y-o-y respectively, mainly due to improved performance from a number of the group’s operational units which helped offset weaker results in Denmark, Hungary and Thailand.
Operating profit in 9M12 however fell by NOK2.1 billion compared to the year-ago period, primarily as a result of the NOK3.9 billion impairment of the group’s assets in Indian subsidiary Uninor in the first quarter of 2012. Excluding the impairment, Telenor said that operating profit increased by NOK1.8 billion, mainly due to improved EBITDA and lower depreciations in all countries where it operates, apart from Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia; accelerated depreciations in the three aforementioned countries were linked to network modernisation programmes, which impacted operating profit.
Looking ahead, Telenor president and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas noted: ‘For the full year 2012, we expect organic revenue growth of around 4% and operating cash flow margin of 23 to 24% not including India. At our Capital Markets Day in September, we announced our goals for the coming years, in order to stay ahead and drive value creation. With continued growth above peers and improved operational efficiency we aim for an operating cash flow of NOK28 billion to NOK30 billion in 2015.’
At the end of September 2012 Telenor reported a consolidated mobile subscriber base of 148.910 million, up from 133.472 million a year earlier, but down from a peak of 151.117 million at the end of the previous quarter. All of the group’s subsidiaries bar three – Hungary, Montenegro and India – reported subscriber growth, with Uninor accounting for the largest drop in customer numbers; between end-June 2012 and end-September 2012 the Indian cellco shed more than 4.6 million subscribers.