Revenues in the fourth quarter amounted to NOK 13,042 million, which is NOK 2,878 million less than in the fourth quarter 2001. Excluding gains, revenues increased by 20 per cent from NOK 10,874 million in the fourth quarter 2001 to NOK 13,002 million in the fourth quarter 2002. The result before taxes and minority interests in the fourth quarter 2002 was a loss of NOK 5.3 billion. This was due to write-downs, losses on disposals and costs related to staff reductions, totalling NOK 6.2 billion. The largest write-downs relate to Telenor Mobile, where DiGi.com in Malaysia was written down by NOK 2.1 billion, Sonofon in Denmark by NOK 1 billion and DTAC/UCOM in Thailand by NOK 900 million. The result before taxes and minority interests for 2002 was a loss of NOK 5,027 million. The corresponding figure for the previous year was a profit of NOK 10,255 million, which was primarily due to high gains from the sale of shares in the Irish mobile company Esat Digifone and the German company Viag Interkom, as well as the sale of Telenor Media.
EBITDA (operating profit before depreciation, amortization and write-downs) in the fourth quarter 2002 was NOK 3,562 million. EBITDA for 2002 was NOK 13,441 million. Excluding gains and losses, EBITDA increased by NOK 1,284 million to NOK 3,571 million in the fourth quarter 2002 compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
"The fourth quarter 2002 was strongly influenced by large write-downs as well as restructuring and staff reduction costs, resulting in a substantial negative result for Telenor, taken the year as a whole. However, there was a positive development in the cash flow from operations and Telenor is therefore well positioned for future growth and results," said CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
The international mobile operations are still experiencing strong growth and Telenor's pro rata share of subscriptions, including Norway, was 12.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter 2002. EBITDA in Telenor Mobile doubled in the fourth quarter 2002 compared to the same period in the previous year, to more than NOK 2 billion. The EBITDA margin in the Norwegian operations increased by 3.5 percentage points to 37.8 per cent, while the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) increased by NOK 9 in the fourth quarter 2002 compared to the same period in 2001, to NOK 340.
The EBITDA margin in Telenor Networks fell to 33.2 per cent in the fourth quarter 2002, due to staff reduction costs of NOK 107 million. Telenor Business Solutions achieved somewhat better results from operations as a result of reduced costs. The consolidation of Canal Digital had a positive effect on Telenor Plus, while growth in ADSL customers resulted in increased costs.
During the quarter, a reorganization of Telenor's operations in Sweden was carried out through the purchase of 90 per cent of Utfors AB and the sale of Telenordia in exchange for 37.2 per cent of Glocalnet AB.
Net interest-bearing liabilities at the end of the fourth quarter were NOK 26.9 billion. At the end of 2001, net interest liabilities amounted to NOK 13.2 billion.
The Board proposed a dividend of NOK 0.45 per share, which is an increase from NOK 0.35 per share in 2001.
Chief Press Spokesman Dag Melgaard, tel: (+47) 67 89 26 71 or (+47) 901 92 000
Press conference and analytical presentation
With regard to the financial result for the fourth quarter, a joint conference for journalists and analysts will be held in the Auditorium, Telenor Expo, Fornebu, at 09:00 CET on Thursday, February 13. CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Senior Executive Vice President Arve Johansen and CFO Torstein Moland will present the results. The presentation will be held in Norwegian and broadcast live over the Internet at http://expo.telenor.no/live. A recording will be made available at the same site.
International telephone conference
An international telephone conference on the quarterly result will take place at 15:00 CET on the same day. This event is aimed at investors and analysts. Further details of the analytical presentation can be found at www.telenor.no/ir
The quarterly report and the presentations used during the joint press conference and analytical presentation will be made available at www.telenor.no/ir