Capital gain lifts Norwegian operator Telenor to record earnings
- Increase was partly attributed to growth in mobile phone services in Pakistan, Norway and Thailand, which more than offset declining revenues related to the operation of its copper network, rising costs and a soaring electricity bill
OSLO: Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor reported record 2022 profits on Thursday, thanks to a large capital gain from the merger of its Malaysian subsidiary with a local company.
Telenor’s full-year net profit rose to 44.9 billion kroner ($4.52 billion), including a one-time gain of 32.9 billion kroner booked in the fourth quarter.
At the end of the year, the Norwegian company completed the tie-up of its Malaysian subsidiary Digi with Celcom, owned by local group Axiata.
Continuing its strategy of linking up with local operators to boost its business in Southeast Asia, Telenor said it had also made good progress in the planned merger of its subsidiary Dtac with True in Thailand.
Excluding the non-recurring capital gain, Telenor posted a gross operating profit, or EBITDA, of 43.1 billion kroner in 2022 – up by five percent from the previous year.
The increase was partly attributed to growth in mobile phone services in Pakistan, Norway and Thailand, which more than offset declining revenues related to the operation of its copper network, rising costs and a soaring electricity bill.
Annual sales came in around 99 billion kroner, up from 97.1 billion in 2021.
At the same time, the number of subscribers worldwide fell slightly, to 158.3 million at the end of 2022 from 161.9 million a year earlier.
The drop was attributed to a ban, since lifted, on the sale of SIM cards in Bangladesh and floods in Pakistan which caused network interruptions.
Telenor maintained its earnings forecast for the current year and proposed a slight increase in its dividend for 2022, to 9.40 kroner per share from 9.30 the previous year.
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