Telenor cites currency effects as full year revenues decline 1.5%

30 Jan 2019

Norway-based Telenor Group has published its results for the period ended 31 December 2018, with the company reporting what it claimed was a ‘strong year with continued progress on strategic ambitions’. In the closing three months of 2018, Telenor generated a total turnover of NOK28.2 billion (USD3.3 billion), representing a 1.8% year-on-year decline, with subscription and traffic revenues falling by 2.1%, to NOK21.3 billion. For the full financial year, meanwhile, Telenor reported total revenues of NOK110.4 billion, down from NOK112.1 billion in FY 2017, attributing the decline to the negative impact of currency effects. Subscription and traffic revenues were also down in FY 2018, totalling NOK85.4 billion, compared to NOK86.3 billion in the previous fiscal year.

Quarterly EBITDA, meanwhile, stood at NOK10.3 billion in 4Q18, down from NOK10.8 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier, with Telenor saying this had been ‘impacted by the revenue shortfall in Myanmar and Thailand, fixed legacy decline in Norway and 2300MHz rental fees, in addition to temporary remedy costs in Thailand’. Full year EBITDA stood at NOK45.3 billion, however, representing a 1.3% y-o-y increase. Net income attributable to equity holders of Telenor was NOK1.2 billion in 4Q18, a sizeable drop from the NOK2.2 billion reported for 4Q17, although the company noted this was primarily due to other expenses related to a settlement with CAT in Thailand of NOK2.1 billion and a decrease in net financial items of NOK 1.8 billion driven by higher net currency losses. More positively, full year net profit totalled NOK14.6 billion, up 22% y-o-y, impacted by gains related to the partial disposal of Telenor Microfinance Bank (NOK1.8 billion) and the disposal of assets in central and eastern Europe (NOK1.7 billion). Telenor Group’s CAPEX, excluding licences and spectrum fees, was NOK6.1 billion in the last quarter of 2018, and NOK16.8 billion for the twelve-month period.

In operational terms, as at 31 December 2018 Telenor Group reported a consolidated mobile subscriber base of 173.74 million, up from 168.33 million y-o-y, with gains in Bangladesh – where it added more than 7.4 million subscribers over the year – and Pakistan (up 1.9 million y-o-y) offsetting customer declines in the likes of Myanmar (down 2.2 million) and Thailand (down 1.5 million).