Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor Group has reported its financial results for the first three months of 2015, generating what it said were ‘all-time high’ revenues. For the quarter ended 31 March 2015 Telenor reported a total turnover of NOK30.210 billion (USD3.89 billion), representing a more than 19% increase on the NOK25.319 billion recorded in the same period a year earlier. Such an increase was attributed to positive currency effects of NOK 2.9 billion, a ‘significant contribution’ from the group’s Myanmar unit, ‘continued solid performance’ domestically, and ‘generally positive revenue development across all units’.
EBITDA before other income and expenses totalled NOK10.587 billion in Q1 2015, representing a year-on-year increase of 16.7%, though EBITDA itself was down by almost 10% at NOK10.554 billion from NOK11.677 billion in 1Q14.
Operating profit meanwhile decreased by NOK1.6 billion in the three months to end-March 2014, with the Norwegian outfit saying this was largely due to NOK1.7 billion licence refund in India and gains on disposal of operations mainly related to divestment of Conax (NOK1.2 billion) in the first quarter of 2014, which together with NOK500,000 higher depreciation and amortisation in 1Q15 more than offset the improved EBITDA.
In operational terms, at the end of March 2015 Telenor’s consolidated mobile subscriber base totalled 189.84 million, up from 171.79 million a year earlier. Among the subsidiaries reported customer growth, India added close to eight million new mobile accesses over the year to end-March 2015 to bring its total to 38.505 million, while in Myanmar some 6.39 million people had signed up for a mobile plan since the group’s unit launched in September 2014.
Commenting on the results, Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas was cited as saying: ‘Our performance during the first quarter reflects a promising start to the year. We reported all-time high revenues and strong organic sales growth of 8%. EBITDA grew by 5% organically despite start-up costs in Myanmar and continued high handset sales. We added 5.9 million mobile customers during the period and more than one third of our total 190 million subscribers are now active internet users.’