In the fourth quarter of 2004, Telenor's revenues excluding gains increased by 14.2 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2003, to NOK 15.6 billion. Net income was NOK -382 million, which is a decrease of NOK 1,381 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2003. The performance was affected by the write-downs relating to the operations in Denmark and Sweden, and by Telenor's commitment to strengthening its position in the market.
EBITDA (operating profit before depreciation and write-downs) was NOK 20,821 million for 2004, an increase of 13.8 per cent compared to the previous year. In the fourth quarter, EBITDA was NOK 4,519 million, compared to NOK 4,883 million the previous year.
The number of mobile subscriptions in consolidated operations increased by 2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, to 19.0 million. The number of subscriptions in companies where Telenor has ownership interests increased by 7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, to 52.7 million. In Norway, Telenor has 2,645,000 mobile subscriptions, a growth of 281,000 subscriptions during 2004. At year-end 2004, Telenor's estimated market share for mobile services in Norway was maintained at 56 per cent, measured by the number of subscriptions. Internationally, the growth in subscriptions has been especially high, particularly in Kyivstar (Ukraine) and GrameenPhone (Bangladesh), where the subscription figures more than doubled. Total revenues from Telenor's mobile operations increased by 38.4 per cent in 2004, to NOK 32,952 million. The operating profit was NOK 3,027 million in 2004, compared to NOK 5,224 million in 2003. EBITDA increased by 21.4 per cent to NOK 11,618 million in 2004. As the first operator in Norway, Telenor Mobil launched third generation mobile services (UMTS) on 1 December 2004.
At year-end 2004, Telenor had 326,000 ADSL subscribers in Norway, an increase of 149,000 from 2003. The total revenues from the Fixed area were NOK 19,266 million in 2004, compared to NOK 20,509 million in 2003. The operating profit increased by 10.4 per cent to NOK 2,794 million, whereas EBITDA was NOK 6,277 million, compared to NOK 6,665 million in the previous year. In Norway, Telenor's market share for fixed telephony, measured in traffic minutes, remained stable at 69 per cent.
At year-end 2004, Broadcast had 824,000 satellite based subscribers in the Nordic region, an increase of 61,000 compared to year-end 2003. Total revenues from Broadcast increased by 10.9 per cent to NOK 5,347 million. The operating profit increased by NOK 408 million to NOK 589 million, whereas EBITDA increased by 21.6 per cent to NOK 1,495 million. The EBITDA margin increased to 28.0 per cent, from 25.5 per cent in 2003.
The Group's capital expenditure amounted to NOK 12.7 billion in 2004, an increase of NOK 6.3 billion compared to the previous year. This increase can mainly be ascribed to the international mobile operations, where network capacity has been increased due to high subscriber growth, together with the acquisition of a GSM licence in Pakistan and an UMTS licence in Hungary. At the end of 2004, net interest-bearing liabilities were NOK 19.2 billion, compared to NOK 17.8 billion at the end of 2003.
"A growing share of Telenor's revenues and results has been derived from operations outside Norway. We have experienced challenges in the Danish and Swedish mobile markets in the fourth quarter of 2004, however, we have seen strong growth in the international mobile markets during the year. We have also successfully defended our position in the Norwegian market, with strong customer growth within mobile and ADSL. Broadcast has strengthened its operation and increased its profitability through the year. Overall, we expect to see a positive performance in 2005 compared to 2004," said CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
Press spokesman Dag Melgaard
Tel: +47 67 89 26 71 or +47 901 92 000
To the editorial offices:
Press and analyst conference
In connection with the results presentation, a press and analyst conference will be held in Auditorium A at Telenor Expo at Fornebu on Wednesday 16 February at 09:00 local Norwegian time (08:00 GMT). Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO and Torstein Moland, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, will present the results in detail. The presentations will be given in English.
Internet streaming and video streaming to mobile terminals
The press and analyst conference will be streamed live over the Internet, and a recorded transmission will be made available after the conference, on https://www.telenor.com/ir . It will be possible to submit questions during the transmission. The presentation and Q&A session will also be available via video streaming on mobile handsets that receive 3G, GPRS or EDGE signals. For more information on this, please consult the Telenor website.
Journalists and analysts are invited to listen to the press and analyst conference over the telephone, and may ask questions immediately after the Q&A session in the auditorium. Phone in well in advance on: 800 80 119 (from Norway) or +47 23 00 04 00 (from abroad).
The full quarterly report and the presentations used at the press and analyst conference will be made available on https://www.telenor.com/ir.