First quarter net income at Swedish mobile, fixed line and broadband group TeliaSonera rose by 8.9% year-on-year to SEK4.99 billion (USD840 million), on revenues that climbed 6.6% to SEK24.40 billion. In the three months ended 31 March 2008 operating income, excluding non-recurring items, increased to SEK6.75 billion, up from SEK6.19 billion a year ago, and EBITDA, minus one-offs, reached SEK7.76 billion (SEK7.58 billion), giving a lower year-on-year EBITDA margin of 31.8% (33.4%). Total subscriptions reached 119.3 million at the end of March 2008, after additions of 1.4 million new subscribers in majority-owned operations and 3.1 million customers in associated companies during the quarter. Revenues at the group’s Mobility Services division grew 9.4% to SEK11.52 billion, driven by growth in all markets, and particularly helped by the acquisition of debitel in Denmark, the positive effect of an MVNO agreement in Norway with Tele2, good volume growth in Spain and Lithuania and an overall increase in mobile data usage. The total number of mobile subscriptions stood at 14.797 million at the end of Q1 2008, up by 1.284 million year-on-year, with TeliaSonera’s young Spanish unit Yoigo signing up over 450,000 users in a year to reach 559,000. At the Eurasia division, turnover rose 31.6% to SEK2.72 billion (SEK2.07 billion), driven by continued strong volume growth, especially in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and the acquisition of operations in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In Broadband Services, total sales fell slightly to SEK11.02 billion (SEK11.07 billion) after revenues grew in all markets except Sweden and Estonia. Lars Nyberg, President and CEO of TeliaSonera, commented on the results: ‘The growth engine of the group, Eurasia, continued its strong development…However, growth in broadband slowed down somewhat in the first quarter and did not offset the decrease in fixed voice to the extent I would have liked to see in Sweden.’ Group CAPEX increased to SEK3.23 billion, up from SEK2.34 billion in Q1 2007, mainly related to Eurasia, where CAPEX in the comparable quarter last year was low due to the timing of investments between the quarters.
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