Strong sales of smartphones and growing demand for data services boosted TeliaSonera’s profits during the third quarter, as key markets began recovering from economic slumps.
The operator grew profits from 5 billion Swedish Kronor (€542 million) to 5.9 billion year-on-year on sales of 26.7 billion Kronor, as EBITDA hit a record 9.7 billion Kronor and the margin improved from 36.1% to 36.5%.
President Lars Nyberg said growing sales of smartphones in the Nordic region boosted the firm’s mobile data revenues, noting that seven out of ten Swedish customers bought a smartphone during the period.
“Both Mobility Services and Eurasia are seeing accelerated growth compared to previous quarters, the former driven by mobile data and equipment sales and the latter by macroeconomic recovery and higher mobile penetration,” Nyberg explained.
Apple’s iPhone 4 drove the demand for smartphones during the quarter, though Nyberg says Android and Symbian devices are gaining traction.
Investments in mobile networks in Eurasia are beginning to pay off, with record-high subscriber growth at the firm’s Ucell and Ncell operations in Uzbekistan and Nepal.
An “all time high customer intake” at Spanish subsidiary Yoigo left the carrier with a 4% share of the market by end-September, and prompted Nyberg to predict the unit will become EBITDA positive in 4Q.
Nyberg backed the firm’s fixed line network as a key differentiator, but noted that upgrading the network from ADSL to VDSL “poses a short term challenge.”
The firm revised its full year sales forecasts up, predicting growth of 3-4% compared to 2.9% previously, Bloomberg reported.