Norway's Telenor sees COVID-19 impact on client base
Adds details on results, outlook and comment
OSLO, July 16 (Reuters) - Norway's Telenor TEL.OL said on Thursday it expects a single-digit decline in subscription base and traffic revenue this year as the COVID-19 pandemic dented its sales, even as the telecoms operator posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
The Oslo-headquartered firm, which operates in nine countries across Europe and Asia, said its subscription base decreased by 3.2 million to 182 million in the second quarter.
"The temporary lockdown of physical retail channels led to a significant decline in sales, impacting revenues negatively especially in our Asian prepaid markets," the company said, adding that mobility and travel restrictions in all markets led to a significant decrease in inbound and outbound roaming, especially in their Nordic operations.
The company's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for April-June rose 19% on-year to 14.33 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.54 billion), while analysts in a Refinitiv poll on average had expected 13.77 billion crowns.
Good overall performance in Myanmar and Norway and cost cuts in Thai operations, dtac DTAC.BK, were the main contributors to the EBITDA improvement in the second quarter, Telenor said.
Organic second-quarter EBITDA, excluding acquisitions, grew 1% from last year, and was expected to be stable in 2020 compared with a year-ago period.
The company had previously expected its organic earnings to grow 2-4% in 2020.
($1 = 9.3120 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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