Telenor reported a Q1 performance which it described as a “promising start to the year”, with “all-time high” revenue and adding 5.9 million mobile customers.

“An encouraging start to the year makes us confident that Telenor will see another good year in which more customers will benefit from mobile internet access and quality services,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas (pictured), president and CEO.

The company reported a profit after taxes and non-controlling interests of NOK4.05 billion ($538.3 million), up 10.3 per cent, on revenue of NOK30.21 billion, up 19.3 per cent.

Revenue growth was attributed to an NOK2.9 billion gain from currency effects, a “significant contribution” from Myanmar, continued solid performance in Norway, and “generally positive revenue development across all units”.

However, on an operating level, its profit of NOK6.56 billion was down from NOK8.16 billion. This was attributed to the fact that in the prior-year period the company benefitted from licence refunds in India and gains through asset sales.

In its home market, the company is continuing to invest in fixed and mobile networks, to “meet our customers’ high demands and expectations for data capacity as well as premium network coverage. It noted “mobile data consumption that more than doubled over the last year and stronger demand for high-speed fixed internet”.

Its mobile subscriber base decreased by 10,000 during the period, primarily in the prepaid base. Monthly mobile average revenue per user increased by 9 per cent, due to continued demand for bundled subscriptions with larger data volumes.

The Norway operation saw a 24 per cent increase in operating profit to NOK1.87 billion on revenue up 5.5 per cent to NOK6.6 billion. Mobile revenue increased 9.8 per cent to NOK3.69 billion.

Global operations
But the company noted “intensified competition on mobile data offerings in Sweden”, where mobile revenue increased by 3.5 per cent to NOK2.98 billion. Its mobile subscriber base decreased by 23,000, due to shrinkage in its prepaid base.

For Thailand, the company said that its turnaround plan continues “with some early signs of improvement”. Its operating unit there, dtac, plans to accelerate its investment in 3G and 4G coverage to take a “strong market position”, although it continues to face “intense competition with heavy handset subsidies in the prepaid customer segment”.

It also said that strong demand continues in Myanmar, and during the first quarter Telenor expanded into new areas, added three million customers (resulting in a total base of 6.4 million subscriptions) and took its total number of network sites to 1,772. “In the coming quarters, we plan to ramp up network investments to cater for the strong demand for digital services in this connectivity-hungry nation,” Baksaas said.