TeliaSonera posts rise in earnings, cuts 2,900 jobs

TeliaSonera reported an 11% rise in its fourth-quarter net profit, but said it would slash 2,900 jobs, or 9.3% of its work force, to cut costs, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the Stockholm-based company as saying that the job cuts will generate savings allowing it to invest more money in mobile and internet services.

About two-thirds of the layoffs will be made in Sweden and about one-third in Finland, and will cost the company around 4 billion kronor ($618 million), it said. Two-thirds of the cuts will be made in 2008, and the rest in 2009.

The company expects the cuts to result in savings of about 5 billion kronor ($774 million) annually, the Associated Press report said.

Separately, TeliaSonera said it had proposed paying about $573 million for the remaining stakes in two Latvian telecommunications businesses, the report said.

TeliaSonera posted a profit of 4.47 billion kronor ($691 million) for the October-December period, up from 4.03 billion kronor in the year-ago period.

Sales rose to 24.9 billion kronor ($3.85 billion), compared with 23.19 billion kronor in the same quarter the previous year, the report said.

The result beat expectations of analysts, who had forecast a net profit of 4.22 billion kronor ($653 million) in the quarter on sales of 24.66 billion kronor ($3.82 billion), the report added.

For the full year, TeliaSonera recorded a net profit of 17.67 billion kronor ($2.77 billion), up from around 17 billion kronor a year earlier, the report further said.