Asia Pacific operations powered Telenor to higher profits and revenues during the first quarter, with over half of its mobile net subscriber additions during the period coming from India alone.
The telco grew EBITDA from 7.1 billion Norwegian kroner (€903 million) in 1Q10 to 7.3 billion this quarter, as revenues grew 7% to 24.1 billion kroner on the back of a stable performance in Nordic and Central and Eastern European markets, and a typical 13% revenue rise across all its Asia Pacific businesses.
President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas explains strong net additions of 5.4 million in India was backed up by strong momentum in “smartphone demand and data usage,” at Telenor’s businesses in Malaysia and Thailand, “high level” customer growth at Grameenphone, and a cash flow margin of 26% in Pakistan that leaves the unit “on track to deliver good returns.”
Year-on-year revenue declines in Norway and Denmark mean those businesses must focus closely on cost cutting, Baksaas said, however he is confident that upgrade schemes across all its Nordic businesses – which include Sweden - “will significantly reduce network operations cost.”
Central and Eastern Europe was something of a mixed bag for the firm, with revenues down in Hungary and Montenegro due to subscriber churn, while strong net additions powered Telenor Serbia to higher operating profits and sales income during the period.
The results are sufficient for the firm to reiterate its full-year outlook of above 5% revenue growth and an EBITDA margin of 31%.