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Telenor third-quarter earnings top expectations

Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor on Wednesday reported third-quarter earnings above expectations, supported by growing mobile service revenue and lower energy prices in the Nordics, and narrowed its full-year projections.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for July-September rose 1.5% on an organic basis to 9.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($834.2 million), while analysts on average had expected 9.1 billion.

“The third quarter was strong … We delivered solid growth and earnings momentum in the Nordics and saw firm traction for synergy realisation in Asia,” CEO Sigve Brekke said in a statement.

Telenor’s Nordics service revenue grew 4% and EBITDA by 8% in the quarter. The operator now expects this business to show organic growth of above 3% in service revenues this year against a previous guidance for “low-to-mid single-digit growth”.

Similarly, it expects EBITDA to grow by 3-4% this year, which earlier was also seen at “low-to-mid single-digit growth”.

Telenor reiterated it expects capital expenditure in the Nordics to be around 17% of revenues for the period.

The operator, which has about 158 million customers across the Nordic region and Asia, announced last year it was considering a stock market listing of its Asian unit.

It completed a $15 billion merger last year to form a telecoms leader in Malaysia, and this year it finalised an $8.6 billion tie-up in Thailand. Reuters

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