Norwegian telecoms group Telenor saw revenues fall by NOK400 million, 1.6% year-on-year, in the first quarter of 2013, with the company noting that the decline was the result of appreciation of the Norwegian krone against a number of other currencies. With the group generating turnover of NOK24.72 billion (USD4.39 billion) in the three months ended 31 March 2013, Telenor also said that a ‘weaker’ Danish market and the reduced scale of its Indian operations had been partly offset by higher revenues from Thai subsidiary DTAC. EBITDA for the three-month period under review stood at NOK8.42 billion, representing a 8.5% increase compared to 1Q12, with the company citing improved performance in India, Norway and Thailand as a factor for the rise. Operating profit, meanwhile, increased by NOK4.7 billion compared to the first quarter of 2012, though this was primarily down to the impairment of assets at Telenor’s Indian arm, Uninor, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for the impairment, operating profit rose by NOK800 million to NOK4.99 billion.
With the first financial results of its 2013 fiscal year published, Telenor has altered its forecast for revenues in the full-year period; having previously said it expected organic revenue growth of between 3% and 5% in FY2013, Telenor is now expecting growth of between 2% and 4% in the twelve-month period. The group’s guidance for EBITDA margin before other income and expenses and capital expenditure as a proportion of revenues remain unchanged however, at 34% and 12%-14%, respectively.
In operational terms, at the end of March 2013 Telenor’s consolidated mobile subscriber base stood at 147.52 million, representing a 0.5% increase against the 146.75 million it had a year earlier. The company’s Thai and Bangladeshi subsidiaries posted the most notable subscriber gains, adding 2.48 million and 4.16 million customers, respectively. On the other side of the coin, with the company’s Indian unit having shuttered operations in seven of the country’s calling circles over the past year, in the year to end-March 2013 it recorded a subscriber losses of almost eight million, bringing its total down to 23.59 million.