TeliaSonera registers pro forma operating loss for 2002

20 Feb 2003

TeliaSonera has announced its first set of financial results as a merged entity, drawing a lukewarm reaction from the industry. Pro forma sales were up slightly to EUR8.81 billion from EUR8.80 billion in 2001, while underlying EBITDA grew to EUR2.67 billion from EUR2.37 billion, taking the company’s EBITDA margin to 30.3% from 26.9%. The firm reported an operating loss of EUR5.10 billion in 2002, though, compared with a EUR1.04 billion operating profit the previous year. Company president and CEO Anders Igel was upbeat about the performance, highlighting in particular the group’s mobile operations in the Nordic region and its fixed network services division in Sweden as areas with significantly increased margins; Nordic mobile services accounted for 27% of the group’s total sales in 2002, up from 25% twelve months earlier. Mr Igel’s outlook for the future left investors largely uninspired though. The CEO expects turnover to increase by a few percentage points per annum, while EBITDA margins are likely to grow to around 34% as the effects of the merger and the restructuring of loss-making businesses begin to be felt. He would not be drawn on a timeframe for these predictions, however, and declined to offer sales or profit forecasts for the current year. TeliaSonera shares fell more than 5% to SEK32 yesterday afternoon, on publication of the results.

Finland,
CIT’s Datafile of European Telecommunications

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