TeliaSonera January-September 2009
Steady progress resulted in highest EBITDA to date
• Net sales increased 4.8 percent to SEK 27,069 million (25,817). Net sales in local currencies and excluding acquisitions were unchanged.
• The addressable cost base in local currencies and excluding acquisitions de-creased 4.8 percent.
• EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, increased 9.1 percent to SEK 9,763 million (8,949) and the margin to 36.1 percent (34.7). The increase in local currencies and excluding acquisitions was 4.3 percent.
• Operating income, excluding non-recurring items, increased 3.0 percent to SEK 8,453 million (8,203).
• Net income attributable to owners of the parent company rose to SEK 5,043 million (4,772) and earnings per share to SEK 1.12 (1.06).
• Free cash flow rose to SEK 4,583 million (2,829) due to higher EBITDA and ap-proximately SEK 1.2 billion in dividend from Turkcell Holding.
• During the quarter the number of subscriptions grew by 4.2 million, of which 1.4 million new subscriptions in the majority-owned operations and 2.8 million in the associated companies, totaling 143.9 million.
• Group outlook for 2009 remains unchanged from the second quarter report 2009.
• Net sales increased 8.3 percent to SEK 81,751 million (75,489). Net sales in local currencies and excluding acquisitions were unchanged.
• Net income attributable to owners of the parent company increased to SEK 13,952 million (13,367) and earnings per share to SEK 3.11 (2.98).
• Free cash flow rose to SEK 12,364 million (6,410).
(Table included in attached pdf)
Comments by Lars Nyberg, President and CEO
“During the third quarter we reported the highest EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, in the company’s history. It is also satisfactory that operating income improved 3 percent com-pared to last year, despite a notably lower income from associated companies driven by currency fluctuations and one-off items. Due to a healthy mix of mature and emerging mar-kets, we have been able to keep our revenues in local currencies unchanged for the first nine months compared to the same period last year. I see this as an achievement given that the telecom sector is pressured by lower economic activity, regulatory intervention and re-duced roaming due to decreased business travel.
The strong trend for mobile data and mobile broadband continued and we are confident that we will launch 4G services in Stockholm and Oslo as one of the first operators in the world. A pre-requisite for delivering dramatically increased speed is the availability of devices and we see our agreement with Samsung to deliver modems as an important milestone. We are positive that the tender process for 4G licenses will commence in the other Nordic countries later this year or early next year.
It is also encouraging that after focusing on improving the quality of the network in Nepal, the operation that we acquired a year ago, we were ready to increase marketing activities in early October and the initial response from this campaign is promising.
The situation in the Baltic countries remains challenging and it is too early to talk about any green shoots in the economy. However, we have demonstrated our long-term commitment to this region by increasing our ownership in Eesti Telekom in Estonia and TEO in Lithuania from 60 percent to approximately 98 percent and 65 percent respectively. Following the completion of the offer for Eesti Telekom, we decided to initiate a squeeze-out process. In general, we will continue to look for opportunities to increase ownership in our core holdings.
We are making steady progress in our efforts to reduce structural costs. Our addressable cost base has been reduced by 4.4 percent, in local currencies and excluding acquisitions, for the first nine months and we can also see effects within Mobility Services this quarter. We remain committed that our EBITDA margin for 2009 will be higher than last year and we continue to scrutinize ways to preserve a strong free cash flow generation.”
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