Increasing subscriber numbers in Asia helped Telenor grow Q4 profit 25% year-on-year, despite quarterly and annual declines in revenue.
Net profit hit 2.5 billion kroner (€308 million) during Q409, up from 1.9 billion kroner in Q408, even after sales fell from 29 billion kroner to 26 billion year-on-year.
Full year revenues of 106 billion kroner were down from 109 billion in 2008, and full-year profit fell from 13 billion kroner to 8.9 billion in 2009.
The results are based on Telenor’s current structure, and so exclude figures from Kyivstar, in which Telenor held a 56.5% stake by end Q4.
A growing number of subscribers at Telenor’s operations in Pakistan, Thailand, and Bangladesh contributed to its quarterly and annual growth. The firm added 386,000 users at its DTAC subsidiary in Thailand; 1.2 million at Bangladeshi carrier Grameenphone; and 842,000 at Telenor Pakistan.
The carrier ended 2009 with a total of 174 million subscribers.
CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas says the 2009 results reflect the firm’s focus on geographical presence and reorganization of its activities.
“The full year results demonstrate our commitment to these priorities,” he states, adding that the firm will “strive to secure our market positions” during 2010.
He predicts low single digit growth in organic revenues for 2010, and ebitda margin of 27%-28%, excluding other income and expenses.