Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor has reported a record high EBITDA in presenting its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2013. In the twelve-month period under review, the company saw total turnover increase by 2.3% against the previous the year, rising to NOK104.027 billion (USD17.7 billion), up from a restated figure of NOK101.718 billion for 2012. Such an increase was attributed to ‘solid growth’ at a number of the group’s subsidiaries, notably those in Thailand (DTAC), Bangladesh (Grameenphone), Malaysia (DiGi) and Sweden. Improved revenues at these units helped offset the impact of the reduced scale of the group’s Indian operations, as well as lower turnover in Denmark, Pakistan and in its domestic territory. Positive currency effects on revenues were NOK1 billion. EBITDA before other items in FY13 stood at NOK35.892 billion, up from the restated figure of NOK32.848 billion for the previous financial year. This 9.3% year-on-year increase was said to be mainly the result of improved performance in India, Thailand and Sweden, coupled with effects from the group’s new Bulgarian operation.
Operating profit, meanwhile, rose by NOK11.6 billion in FY13 due to Telenor Group’s improved EBITDA, as well as lower depreciations and effects in 2012 from the impairments of assets in India’s Uninor and Telenor Denmark; adjusted for the impairments related to the two aforementioned subsidiaries, operating profit increased by NOK 3.7 billion to reach NOK22.161 billion in 2013. Profit after taxes and non-controlling interests for the reporting period was NOK13.197 billion, up from a restated figure of NOK8.809 billion. CAPEX in 2013 for the Norwegian group, meanwhile, stood at 17.044 billion, down from NOK21.511 billion a year earlier, although Telenor noted that CAPEX excluding licences had actually increased by NOK 2.4 billion in the year, primarily due to network and infrastructure investments in Thailand, Pakistan, Norway and Sweden.
In operational terms, as at 31 December 2013 Telenor Group’s consolidated mobile subscriber base stood at 161.799 million, up by 13.058 million from 148.741 million at end-December 2012. Notable subscriber growth was reported by the group’s Bangladeshi and Pakistani units, which recorded annual increases of 7.089 million and 2.891 million, respectively. Further, by dint of its acquisition of Bulgarian mobile operator Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile (trading under the GloBul brand) in August 2013, the new subsidiary accounted for 3.995 million of the group’s subscribers at the end of year in review. At the other end of the scale, Telenor Denmark recorded a loss of 187,000 subscribers between end-2012 and end-2013, lowering its total to 1.828 million, while the group’s Hungarian, Serbian and Montenegrin units all saw customer declines in the twelve-month period.
Commenting on the company’s future strategy, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO of Telenor Group, said: ‘As the world goes digital, Telenor Group is strategically managing the transition from voice to data and we will continue to focus on our Internet for All ambition, an initiative to connect the unconnected in all our markets. We are now getting started in our new market Myanmar, a nation of 60 million people and vast untapped growth potential. After signing the licence agreement last month, we will leverage on our regional experience and aim to provide accessible and affordable mobile communications to people across the country.’