Norway’s Telenor Group has published its financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2017, highlighting a reduction in costs and what it claimed was a ‘record high’ EBITDA margin on the back of progress made as part of its efficiency agenda. In the period under review Telenor’s reported revenue totalled NOK30.735 billion, down from NOK31.249 billion in 3Q16, but it said that organic revenues had, in fact, increased by 1% year-on-year. It noted that the largest contributor growth continued to be its Bangladeshi subsidiary, though it added that other units in emerging Asia were ‘performing well’. In addition, Telenor said that it has witnessed a positive contribution from growth of fixed broadband turnover in Sweden and Norway.
Currency adjusted operating expenditures decreased by NOK400 million in the third quarter of this year, attributable in part to the group’s ongoing efficiency initiatives, while EBITDA stood at NOK13.0 billion, a figure which represented a y-o-y improvement of 9% on an organic basis. Higher EBITDA was fuelled by continued growth in mobile subscription and traffic revenues, it said, and the opex reductions recorded at most of the group’s business units, Telenor said that its EBITDA margin had increased by three percentage points, to reach a new high of 42%. Reported net income, meanwhile, stood at NOK5.8 billion, a significant improvement from the NOK4.8 million loss recorded in 3Q16. Telenor noted that this was primarily a result of VEON-related effects and impairment in India last year, adding that adjusted for such factors the group’s net income had improved by NOK800 million y-o-y.
Capital expenditures in the third quarter of 2017 totalled NOK5.0 billion, with network expansions in Thailand and Norway cited as the main contributors, while the figure also included the cost of spectrum licences in Malaysia (NOK1.1 billion) that had been secured in 4Q16.
In operational terms, at 30 September 2017 Telenor reported a total of 175.76 million mobile subscribers across all of its subsidiaries, up from 165.79 million a year earlier. Grameenphone in Bangladesh accounted for the largest portion of the total, having 63.88 million customers at that date, representing y-o-y growth of 16.1%, while other notable gains were made at the group’s units in Myanmar (up 7.2% y-o-y to 19.09 million) and Pakistan (up 6.5% y-o-y to 40.70 million).