TeliaSonera enjoyed a bumper 2Q10, beating analyst’s forecasts with increased profits and subscriber numbers as the economic conditions of key markets improved.
Net income of 5.2 billion Swedish Kroner (€546 million) was up from 4.4 billion Kronor in 2Q09, on the back of higher sales in Eurasia markets and a 2.5 million increase in subscriber numbers that left the firm with a total of 152.4 million customers by June 30.
Sales fell a marginal 1.7% to 26.9 billion Kronor during 2Q10, which the firm blamed on currency fluctuations and lower income from associated companies.
Analysts predicted sales would fall to 26.8 billion Kroner, WSJ.com reports.
EBITDA increased 1.9% to 9.2 billion Kronor, and margins were up from 33% in 2Q09 to 34.2% in the recent quarter.
First half profits grew just over 1 billion Kronor to 9.9 billion, and net sales fell 2.8% at 53 billion Kronor.
Lars Nyberg, president and CEO, said the improving economic conditions in key markets contributed to the increased profits, noting the firm “maintained or improved our market positions in all Eurasian countries,” in particular Kazakhstan.
Baltic markets are also showing green shoots of recovery, however the bulk of the firm’s business in those countries during 1H10 came from equipment sales, Nyberg said.
The firm plans to increase investment in fiber and IP in Sweden, Nyberg added, reflecting its performance in Nordic countries, which was mostly driven by demand for mobile data and fixed-line broadband services.
However, plans to invest heavily in expanding its Swedish fiber network are being held-back by an uncertain regulatory environment that is preventing the firm “executing at full pace,” the CEO noted.
The firm predicts EBITDA margins will grow significantly over 2009, and said CAPEX would be roughly 14-15% of sales, versus analyst forecasts of around 15%, according to WSJ.com.