Telenor's DiGi and Grameenphone units lag expectations in Q4

Telenor reported earnings growth at its two key Asian units for the fourth quarter of 2014, although both DiGi and Grameenphone were slightly behind expectations according to Reuters.

Malaysian subsidiary DiGi's quarterly earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 8.7 per cent to NOK1.64 billion (€189 million/$216 million), Telenor said in a regulatory filing, but Reuters noted that this was behind the expected NOK1.69 billion. The unit also achieved higher revenue in the quarter of NOK3.66 billion, compared to NOK3.27 billion a year ago.

Jefferies analysts also noted that DiGi might see more competitive pressure in 2015 as industry growth looks set to decelerate further this year.

In the guidance for DiGi, Telenor said it expected the unit to sustain the EBITDA margin at the 2014 level and achieve low to mid single-digit service revenue growth.

Meanwhile in Bangladesh, Grameenphone's EBITDA increased by 24 per cent to NOK1.16 billion, but Reuters noted that this was behind expectations of NOK1.18 billion. Revenue in the fourth quarter grew to NOK 2.31 billion from NOK1.89 billion a year ago. No guidance was provided for Grameenphone.

The Norway-based group is due to report its fourth-quarter 2014 results on Wednesday.

In the third quarter of last year, Telenor's group net profit slipped even though the company generated what it described as "all-time high" revenues and increased EBITDA compared to the same period of 2013.

For more:
- see this DiGi filing
- see this Grameenphone filing
- see this Reuters article

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