Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor Group has reported a 7% year-on-year increase in reported revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2019, to NOK29.530 billion (USD3.23 billion). However, with such growth largely attributable to the company’s acquisition of Finland’s DNA, it noted that in organic terms overall revenue growth was broadly flat (up just 0.1% y-o-y). Similarly, while reported subscription and traffic revenues rose 6.6% on an annualised basis – to NOK22.763 billion – it noted that, in fact, it recorded a 1% y-o-y decline in subscription and traffic revenues on an organic basis.
EBITDA before other income and other expenses in the period under review totalled NOK12.092 billion, down from NOK12.410 billion in 3Q18, while EBITDA fell 7.3%, or NOK900 million on an organic basis, having been negatively impacted by non-recurring items in Pakistan and Global Wholesale in corresponding quarter of 2018. The Group booked a net loss of NOK400 million for 3Q19, compared to a net profit of NOK5.9 billion a year earlier, with the company saying this was ‘primarily a result of high net currency losses of NOK1.8 billion due to a weakening of the Norwegian Krone and the recognition of an income tax expense of NOK2.5 billion related to the reassessment received on 22 August’. Capex (excluding licences and spectrum fees) totalled NOK3.7 billion in the quarter under review, down from NOK4.2 billion previously.
With regards to the DNA acquisition, meanwhile, Telenor confirmed that – having completed the purchase of a majority stake in the Finnish multi-play operator on 21 August, following a mandatory tender offer for the remaining shares which ended on 10 October – it now has a 97.96% stake in DNA.
In operational terms, Telenor Group reported a total mobile subscriber base of 180.735 million as at 30 September 2019, up from 170.289 million a year earlier. Notable gains were made by the group’s Bangladeshi subsidiary, GrameenPhone, which added more than 4.3 million customers to its books in the year to end-September 2019 to boost its total to 75.717 million, while Telenor Myanmar increased its subscriber base by more than 3.5 million to reach 21.571 million.