Nordic telco TeliaSonera has reported a 16% increase in first quarter net profit to SEK3.69 billion (USD489 million), from SEK3.18 billion a year earlier, beating analysts’ expectations of around SEK3.1 billion. Revenues increased 5.6% to SEK22 billion, just ahead of forecasts of around EUR21.5 billion. EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, rose 13% to SEK7.8 billion from SEK6.9 billion on strong performances in most markets. The Stockholm-based telco pledged an annual additional dividend payment on top of the ordinary dividend of 30% to 50% of net income attributable to shareholders. In its largest markets of Sweden and Finland it said revenues fell but underlying earnings showed signs of stabilisation in the first quarter as major restructuring programmes started to take effect. The revenue decline in Sweden and Finland was smaller than anticipated while the company’s EBITDA margin before items in Sweden increased to 41.8% from 39.4% a year earlier and beat expectations of 38.9%. Competitive pressure in Finland also eased slightly in the quarter, with the EBITDA margin at operations in the country rising to 22.3% from 21.6%.
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