Finland's Elisa shares slide on COVID crisis roaming hit

Elisa shares fell by 5% on Friday on concerns over falling roaming revenues as the Finnish telecom operator said its profit rose by only 1% in the third quarter.

By Tarmo Virki

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Elisa ELISA.HEshares fell by 5% on Friday on concerns over falling roaming revenues as the Finnish telecom operator said its profit rose by only 1% in the third quarter.

Elisa's mobile services business, which saw a long growth trend halt last quarter as the coronavirus crisis hit roaming revenues, reported a 0.5% revenue drop.

"Mobile service revenue has been negatively impacted as travel is still non-existent in practice. In the corporate business, uncertainty has increased," Elisa said.

Elisa reported July-September earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 180 million euros ($211 million), matching an average forecast from analysts, Refinitiv data showed.

The company, which competes with Telia TELIA.ST and Telenor's TEL.OL DNA, reiterated that it expected both 2020 revenue and EBITDA to be the same or slightly higher than 2019.

"Revenue growth in mobile services should return to a stronger growth trajectory of more than 3% for the earnings growth to have a firmer footing and not rely primarily on cost cuts or acquisitions," Inderes analysts said in a note.

Profit at Elisa's larger consumer business unit rose 5%, helped by sales growth and efficiency improvements, while profit at its corporate unit fell 8%, hit by the roaming revenue fall.

($1 = 0.8543 euros)

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Rashmi Aich and Alexander Smith)

((tarmo.virki@thomsonreuters.com; +372 564 4562 ;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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