TeliaSonera’s EBITDA falls 3.9%; appoints lawyers to scrutinise Eurasian operations

19 Apr 2013

TeliaSonera’s net revenues in local currencies and excluding acquisitions decreased by 0.9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013, although in reported currency net revenues fell 4.5% to SEK24.542 billion (USD3.764 billion). The Swedish group added that the negative effect of exchange rate fluctuations and acquisitions/disposals was 3.1% and 0.5% respectively. In TeliaSonera’s European mobile division turnover dropped 5.1% to SEK11.868 billion. In the group’s broadband/fixed line/pay-TV segment revenues declined by 8.3% to SEK8.243 billion, while in its Eurasia mobile division the total sales figure increased by 5.4% to SEK4.684 billion. Consolidated EBITDA excluding non-recurring items fell by 3.9% to SEK8.509 billion, although EBITDA margin excluding non-recurring items increased to 34.7% from 34.5% a year before. Net income attributable to owners of the parent company decreased 0.3% y-o-y to SEK4.108 billion in January-March 2013. Quarterly CAPEX decreased to SEK2.719 billion compared to SEK3.175 billion in the year-ago period. Total subscriptions across the group rose by 10.1 million from the end of the first quarter of 2012 to 182.1 million at 31 March 2013. In TeliaSonera’s consolidated operations the number of subscriptions increased by 6.3 million in a year to 70.3 million while in associated companies subscriptions increased by 3.8 million to 111.8 million. However, during the first quarter, the total number of subscriptions decreased by a net 800,000 in the consolidated operations and remained virtually unchanged in the associated companies.

Elsewhere, TeliaSonera has appointed law firm Norton Rose to review deals made by its Eurasian division, in order to gain a ‘risk assessment from a business ethical perspective’. Allegations of ‘bribery’ in Uzbekistan ultimately led to a recent change of CEO and the entire board at TeliaSonera, despite an investigation commissioned by the Swedish telco finding no direct evidence of illegality, although it heavily criticised a lack of due diligence relating to partnerships in the country which led to suspicions of corruption. TeliaSonera has also been attacked for apparently permitting authorities in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to monitor anti-government activists via its networks. The review is scheduled for completion by the end of this year, while separate legal investigations into alleged irregularities in Uzbekistan continue.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Uzbekistan, Azercell, Kcell (incl. Activ), Telia Company, Ucell (Coscom)