Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke set ambitious targets for the operator’s future, as it revealed growth in core earnings during Q3.
The company will be tasked with delivering further cost savings while staying the course in terms of a digital transformation and efforts to improve customer relations: elements the CEO said are crucial to the operator’s long-term goals.
In its earnings statement, Brekke noted Telenor Group generated savings of NOK400 million ($49.9 million) in Q3, taking total cost reductions for the January to September period to NOK1.7 billion. The sum implies “our target for 2017 has already been met and further efficiency gains should be expected going forward,” he stated.
Like many operators in the industry, Telenor embarked on a company wide effort to streamline its operations and integrate more digital solutions to improve efficiency and boost customer engagement.
“Our next steps are to continue transforming our business by focusing on digitalising the core, improving efficiency across the company and nurturing growth, where we see reassuring trends and potential,” Brekke said: “In order to further improve our services and remain competitive, we aim to leverage new technologies and make responsible use of our data for the benefit of our customers.”
Net income up
Although Q3 revenue dipped slightly from NOK31.2 billion in Q3 2016 to NOK30.7 billion in the recent period, Telenor reported net income of NOK5.8 billion, overturning a loss of NOK4.8 billion in Q3 2016.
During the 2016 quarter, the company was hit with a number of one-off charges relating to its operation in India and costs associated with the sale of its stake in Veon.
Telenor attributed the rise in net income to factors including currency effects from the strengthening of the Norwegian Kroner, along with 3 per cent year-on-year growth in overall mobile subscriptions and traffic revenue, and gains from completing the sale of its shares in Veon.
EBITDA hit NOK12.9 billion in Q3 2017, up from NOK12.3 billion in Q3 2016.
Breaking out individual markets, Telenor said there was a 9 per cent year-on-year increase in internet and TV revenue in Norway, and 65 per cent growth in data usage.
A number of emerging markets also produced positive revenue trends, for example Bangladesh where subscription and traffic revenue was up 15 per cent year-on-year.
Telenor ended the period with 176 million subscribers worldwide, a 3 per cent decline from the same quarter in 2016, but up 2 million sequentially.