Currency effects and Myanmar boost Telenor’s organic revenues in 2015

10 Feb 2016

Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor Group has published its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015, reporting a total turnover of NOK128.175 billion (USD15.9 billion), a figure it said represented year-on-year organic revenue growth of 4.7%, up from a re-presented figure of NOK111.443 billion in 2014. Telenor noted that the increase was due to positive currency effects of NOK11.1 billion and a ‘significant contribution’ from its Myanmar unit, which were partly offset by tougher market conditions in Thailand, Denmark and Malaysia.

EBITDA before other income and expenses in the twelve months to 31 December 2015 totalled NOK44.197 billion, up 14.8% (or NOK5.7 billion) compared to the previous year, of which NOK3.8 billion was linked to currency effects. Improvements in the underlying EBITDA were mainly driven by the group’s operations in Myanmar, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. EBITDA, meanwhile, was NOK43.325 billion in 2015, up from NOK40.490 billion a year earlier. Reported operating profit decreased by NOK2.2 billion, however, as higher EBITDA was countered both by the NOK2.1 billion impairment of the group’s Danish operations and increased depreciation and amortisation, though currency effects positively impacted operating profit by NOK2.5 billion. Net profit was also down, slumping from NOK9.077 billion in 2014 to NOK3.414 billion in 2015.

Looking ahead, Telenor Group has also released its financial guidance for the coming year, revealing that it expects – based on the current Group structure – organic revenue growth of between 2% and 4%, and EBITDA margin before other income and other expenses of between 33% and 34%. Capital expenditures as a proportion of revenues, excluding licences and spectrum, are meanwhile forecast at between 17% and 19%.

In operational terms, meanwhile, Telenor Group passed a milestone in the last quarter of the year, with its mobile subscriber base topping 200 million; as at the end of 2015 the company had 202.819 million wireless accesses, up from 185.929 million a year earlier. Notably, the group’s Myanmar subsidiary saw significant gains, with its customer base rising from 3.406 million at end-2014 to 13.683 million a year later, while other sizeable gains were made in India (up almost six million y-o-y at 42.619 million) and Bangladesh (up just over five million at 56.679 million).

Commenting on the both last year’s performance and the year ahead, Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President and CEO, said: ‘Five percent organic revenue growth and five percent organic EBITDA growth in 2015 shows the strength of our portfolio of operations. We are, however, entering 2016 with increased competition in some of our key markets, and it will be my key priority to secure focus on profitable growth and cost efficiency.’

Norway, Telenor Group