Asian and European operator Telenor has reported a slight second quarter growth in revenues thanks to increased mobile data usage in the Nordic region and an improved economic environment in Asia. Sales in the period rose 2.7 percent year-on-year to NOK25.2 billion (US$4.03 billion). Net income was up sevenfold, at NOK9.5 billion, against NOK1.4 billion a year ago. However, the huge growth in profit includes an exceptional NOK6.5 billion profit from the merger of its shares in Russia’s Vimpelcom and Ukraine’s Kievstar into a new company jointly owned with Russia’s Alfa. Telenor’s closely watched Indian unit Uninor, which launched operations late last year, made a second-quarter operating loss of NOK1.32 billion. The group increased its total customer base by 5.4 million subscriptions worldwide during the quarter.

“Based on the positive trends in Asia and the Nordics, we expect organic revenue growth to be slightly higher than indicated in our previous outlook. In addition, we revise our expected capex to sales ratio downwards, following lower overall investments so far this year,” said Telenor president and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas. The company said it plans to buy back 3 percent of shares in 2010.