Back to growth 

Press release
8 minute read
Woman taking a photo of nature in Norway

«Telenor returned to growth in the second quarter. The growth was driven by strong performance in the Nordics combined with a growing subscriber base and increased data consumption in the Asian markets. Subscription and traffic revenues increased by 2%. Combined with progress on the modernisation agenda this resulted in an EBITDA uplift of 4%. 

In Norway, the decline in fixed legacy revenues are offset by growth in fibre and fixed wireless accesses and mobile service revenues. Improved subscription development in Sweden contributed positively towards stabilisation of the subscription and traffic revenues. Furthermore, Finland and Denmark continued its strong performance, delivering both revenue and EBITDA growth in the quarter. 

In Asia, Telenor aims to strengthen the position in our markets and be better positioned for future growth. The merger agreement with Celcom in Malaysia was signed in Q2 and marks the next step towards creating a leading operator in the country. We have an ambition to serve the data revolution in the region and the demand for data contributes to the revenue development in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Domestic market performance in Thailand has stabilised the top-line despite impact from the third wave of the pandemic. 

On July 8, Telenor Group announced an agreement to sell Telenor Myanmar. The situation in the country has over the past months deteriorated, posing challenges related to people security, the regulatory environment and compliance. It has not been an easy decision. The commitment to Telenor’s values and responsible business conduct is the reason why we believe this sale is the best possible solution in this situation. 

With the first half of 2021 behind us, and a strong set of numbers for the second quarter, we adjust our expectations for the full year 2021. We now expect organic subscription and traffic revenues growth of 0-1%, organic EBITDA growth of 0-2% and a capex to sales ratio of 15 - 16%.» 

Sigve Brekke, President and CEO, Telenor Group 


Second quarter 

First half year 


NOK in million 







27 158 

28 978 

54 675 

58 109 

115 839 

Organic revenue growth (%) 






Subscription and traffic revenues 

20 327 

22 005 

40 844 

44 228 

87 147 

Organic subscription and traffic revenue growth (%) 






EBITDA before other income and other expenses  

12 353 

13 175 

24 562 

26 175 

52 347 

Organic EBITDA growth (%) 





EBITDA before other income and other expenses/Revenues (%) 






Net income attributable to equity holders of Telenor ASA 

2 188 

4 428 

(1 701) 

5 125 

17 341 

Capex excl. licences and spectrum 

4 377 

3 688 

8 063 

6 680 

15 811 

Total Capex 

6 073 

3 721 

10 298 

7 019 

21 152 

Free cash flow before M&A 

2 126 

3 995 

5 117 

6 659 

12 542 

Total Free cash flow 

2 121 

3 579 

5 955 

7 353 

20 855 

Mobile subscriptions - Change in quarter/Total (mill.) 






*With effect from the second quarter of 2021, Telenor Myanmar is classified as held for sale and discontinued operations, see note 3. As a consequence, the relevant figures in the table above and throughout the report excludes Telenor Myanmar. 

Second quarter 2021 summary 1)

  • The Group’s mobile subscriber base grew by 1.7 million. The subscriber base was 170 million at the end of the quarter.  

  • Subscription and traffic revenues increased by 2% on an organic basis. Total reported revenues were NOK 27.2 billion, a decrease of NOK 1.8 billion.  

  • Currency adjusted opex decreased by NOK 0.1 billion, or 1%. Reported opex decreased by NOK 0.9 billion.  

  • Organic EBITDA increased by 4%, as a result of increase in subscription and traffic revenues. Reported EBITDA before other items was NOK 12.4 billion and the EBITDA margin was 45%.  

  • Capex excluding licences and spectrum was NOK 4.4 billion, yielding a capex to sales ratio of 16%. 

  • Reported net income was NOK 2.2 billion.  

  • Total free cash flow was NOK 2.1 billion. 

  • In June, Telenor ASA paid the first tranche of the dividend for 2020 of NOK 6.7 billion or NOK 5.0 per share. 

  • Leverage increased to 2.0x at the end of the second quarter from 1.8x at the end of the previous quarter mainly due to Myanmar reclassification to discontinued operations and dividend pay-out in June. 

  • On 8 July 2021, the Group announced an agreement to sell its operations in Myanmar. As a consequence, Telenor Myanmar is classified as discontinued operations and held for sale in the Group’s financial statements.   

1)Please refer to Definitions on page 28 for descriptions of alternative performance measures.