Record profits for Telenor

Press release
4 minute read
Telenor's preliminary profits before taxes for the year 2001 amounts to NOK 10.3 billion, which is the best result in Telenor's history. Profits before taxes are NOK 8.3 billion higher than in 2000. The record result is primarily due to capital gains and increased revenue from both mobile and fixed-network operations.
Telenor's main activities developed well throughout 2001. The company increased its revenues by 11 per cent to NOK 40.6 billion excluding capital gains. It is primarily the fixed-network and mobile operations that contributed to an EBITDA of NOK 9.5 billion, adjusted for special items. This is an increase of 11 per cent from 2000.

Net gains from the sale of Telenor's holdings in VIAG Interkom, Esat Digifone and Telenor Media amounted to NOK 26.4 billion before taxes. Telenor has in 2001 total write-downs of NOK 16 billion, mainly in the form of goodwill. The largest write-downs were made in Sonofon and DTAC/UCOM, with NOK 7.5 billion and 3.4 billion respectively. Telenor's balance sheet has been substantially strengthened as a result of the divestments. Net interest-bearing liabilities was NOK 13.2 billion at year-end, a reduction of NOK 27 billion compared to year-end 2000.

Telenor invested a total of NOK 18.8 billion in 2001. Its largest single investment was in the Malaysian mobile company Digi.Com, amounting to NOK 3.2 billion. In February this year, Telenor purchased the remaining shares in the Hungarian mobile operator Pannon GSM, at a price of NOK 8.2 billion, and the company is now fully owned by Telenor. With Pannon integrated Telenor has a proportional share of 8.6 million mobile subscribers.

As a result of a weaker IT-market last autumn, several measures were implemented. This includes cutbacks in the use of consultants, staff reductions, a hiring freeze and reductions in travelling expenses. A plan for improving operational efficiency aims to reduce Telenor's 2001 cost base by gross NOK 4 billion within 2004.

"We are satisfied with the position Telenor has achieved both nationally and internationally. The international mobile portfolio has a significant growth potential and the Norwegian mobile and fixed-net operations continue to yield solid results. We will continue to work on improving efficiency and reducing costs throughout the organisation. We expect this to have a beneficial effect on the result in 2002," said Telenor CEO Tormod Hermansen.

To editors:
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