Telia CEO Allison Kirkby noted an advertising downturn weighed on its TV and Media business during Q2, marring growth in its core telecoms operations largely driven by expanded 5G coverage and related price changes.

Kirkby stated a focus on delivering sustainable growth bore fruit for its telecoms unit, citing the highest levels of growth in EBITDA and service revenue for several years.

The executive noted Telia is focused on achieving a leading position in terms of telecoms technology, in particular its 5G rollout. In a separate statement yesterday (19 July), the operator announced its networks covered 84 per cent of the population across Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania and Estonia by the close of Q2.

Kirkby said the operator had “clear leadership positions in Sweden, Norway and Lithuania”.

Its position in these markets provided Telia the flexibility required to implement “price adjustments as well as driving continued strong demand” in the Enterprise segment.

“TV and media is, however, negatively impacting the group’s financial performance”, Kirkby stated, with advertising revenue challenges exacerbating some woes in “premium sports at a time of added cost from” a business transformation programme.

Still, the executive stood by Telia’s strategy of restoring growth through improvements to customer experience and its range of products; maintaining a front-running position in infrastructure; and overhauling its business to deliver “the digital experiences our customers need, but with a more agile, lower cost base”.

The CEO acknowledged inflation and high interest rates remained an issue, but stated these are “gradually stabilising”, tipping its telecoms business to be resilient enough to “support our continued momentum” in H2.

Net income attributable to shareholders declined from SEK1.5 billion ($146.2 million) in Q2 2022 to SEK762 million, with revenue up 4.5 per cent to SEK23.3 billion.