EBITDA before other items was NOK 7.7 billion, EBITDA margin was 30.8%, and operating cash flow was NOK 5.3 billion. Telenor’s consolidated mobile operations added more than five million subscriptions during the quarter.“I am pleased to present another quarter with strong operational performance by the Telenor Group. We are maintaining the growth momentum from 2011 with organic revenue growth of 8%, margins in line with last year and improved operating cash flow,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of Telenor Group.
Outstanding in Pakistan
“The revenue growth is fuelled by strong growth in our Asian operations where customer growth continues and the demand for data services is increasing rapidly. I am delighted to see that Telenor Pakistan delivered an outstanding quarter on all financial parameters, clearly demonstrating this organisation’s strive for continuous improvement,” Baksaas said.
Positive effects in Norway
“In Norway, we are starting to see positive effects from the market activities in the previous quarter with migration to new bundled mobile tariffs. The introduction of pricing that reflects the change towards data usage, and investments in better network capabilities, will enable us to further pursue mobile data opportunities. Reduced demand for fixed line services requires continued efficiency measures. We are in the midst of launching new operating models in the Nordic region and have recently entered into agreements for network sharing and a partnership for customer service in Denmark,” Baksaas said.
“Uninor in India continues to demonstrate operating performance on track towards communicated targets. The strong customer uptake continues, and by the end of March, more than 30 million customers were connected to Uninor’s network. We are impressed by the Uninor employees’ ability to deliver at this level under the present circumstances. The recent recommendation from the regulator on spectrum auction, following the Supreme Court’s ruling to revoke all licences issued in 2008, has severe negative impact on both the telecom industry in India and Uninor. If this should be approved by the Department of Telecommunications, it will be almost impossible for us to participate in the auction. We are working actively to safeguard our investment and urge the Government of India to clarify a sound framework for the industry,” Baksaas said.
“In February, Telenor acquired 234 million preferred shares in VimpelCom Ltd. from Weather Investments. In April, another 65 million common shares were acquired. The transactions brought Telenor’s ownership position back to the level prior to the Wind Telecom transaction. The first transaction has been challenged by Russian authorities. We are confident that we have fully complied with applicable laws and regulations,” Baksaas said.
Guiding for 2012
Based on the high uncertainty in India, we are currently providing financial guidance for 2012 for the Group not including Uninor. On a comparable basis, the positive outlook is maintained,” Baksaas said.