Telenor keeps 2015 outlook with Myanmar gains, stable Norway

Norwegian mobile phone operator Telenor(TEL.OL) reported second-quarter earnings a touch below expectations on Wednesday but kept its full year revenue and margin guidance and said its rapid growth in Myanmar continued.

Telenor said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 11 percent to 10.57 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.30 billion) compared to expectations for 10.77 billion crowns in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Competition and a weak economy in Thailand as well as underperforming units in Pakistan and Malaysia were offset by the new business in Myanmar, profits in India and stable developments in Telenor’s largest single market, Norway.

For Myanmar, EBITDA jumped to 479 million Norwegian crowns from a loss of 83 million crowns a year ago and well above forecasts for 202 million crowns. Myanmar, one of the world’s least connected nations, surprisingly turned profitable last quarter.

Telenor’s Indian unit, for long a headache for the company, finally swung to profit in the quarter having struggled since its launch in 2008.

Quarterly core earnings for Norway were flat compared to last year at 2.72 billion crowns but the usage of data, a key growth driver, spiked in the quarter.

“Customers more than doubled their data usage in the period, which resulted in mobile service revenue growth of 6 per cent,” Chief Executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who retires in August after 13 year at the helm of Telenor, said in a statement.

Sigve Brekke, a 55-year-old company veteran, is due to take over in August.

The company kept its outlook for this year’s revenues to grow by 5 to 7 percent and an EBITDA margin in a range of 34 to 36 percent. ($1 = 8.1068 Norwegian crowns)

Source: Reuters

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