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EBITDA (operating profit before depreciation, amortization and write-downs of tangible and intangible assets) in the period was NOK 4,177 million, which is NOK 1,277 million more than in the first quarter of 2002 and is primarily due to cost savings and consolidation of subsidiaries. Correspondingly, the EBITDA margin increased from 25 to 33 percent.
Capital expenditure (capex) was reduced to NOK 1,230 million in the first quarter of 2003 compared to NOK 1,879 million in the first quarter of 2002. Telenor’s programme of improving the efficiency of operations, Delta 4, is progressing according to plan with the objective of having a gross cost base from the end of 2004 which is NOK 4 billion lower than in 2001.
From 1 January this year Telenor has reported three business areas comprising mobile operations (Mobile), fixed network operations (Fixed) and TV operations (Broadcast). In addition “Other activities” include EDB Business Partner, Other Business units as well as Corporate functions and Group activities. Comparable figures have been prepared for the new organisational structure.
Mobile operations showed a 44 per cent increase in EBITDA to NOK 2.2 billion compared to the first quarter of 2002. Correspondingly, operating profit increased by 47 per cent to NOK 1.1 billion and the EBITDA margin increased from 35 to 41 per cent. In the Norwegian market revenue per subscription dropped slightly compared to the first quarter of 2002. The number of subscription has increased compared to the first quarter of 2002, but has decreased compared to the end of 2002. The market share in Norway is estimated to be approximately 60 per cent.
The EBITDA margin in the fixed network operations (including operations outside Norway) increased by six percentage points to 32 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2002. The fixed network operations in Norway increased its EBITDA margin by six percentage points to 35 per cent as a result of cost savings. At the end of the first quarter the number of ADSL subscribers totalled 121,000, which is an increase of 27,000 from the end of 2002 and 78,000 from the end of the first quarter of 2002.
The TV operations increased revenues by 73 per cent to NOK 1,138 million compared to the first quarter of 2002. Accordingly, EBITDA increased by 104 per cent to NOK 204 million. The improvement is related to the consolidation of Canal Digital. At the same time depreciation and amortization in connection with Canal Digital increased the operating loss.
“The underlying development is good and the cash flow has been strong in the first quarter of 2003 thanks to our focus on cost reductions and capital expenditure. For the rest of the year we expect market conditions in the Norwegian operations to continue to be characterized by weak market development and substantial competition. We will concentrate and strengthen the activities to secure our market positions. Additionally we will continue the focus on cost-reducing measures through Delta 4, and we expect margins to improve in the Norwegian operations in 2003 compared to 2002. We expect continued growth in our international operations in 2003 compared to 2002, both with regard to revenues and earnings, particularly from our international mobile companies. For the group as a whole we expect significant improvement in the underlying EBITDA and operating profit (excluding special items), as well as cash flow from operations for 2003 compared to 2002,” says Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO.
Dag Melgaard, Chief Press Spokesman, tel.: +47 67 89 26 71 or +47 901 92 000
To the editors:
In connection with the quarterly result a press conference will be held in the auditorium at Telenor Expo, Fornebu at 0900 hrs (Norwegian time) on Wednesday 7 may. CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas will present the results.
The press conference will be streamed via the Internet live and as a recording after the press conference at www.telenor.no/ir and will also be made available on the news portal of NTB, the Norwegian news agency, http://portal.ntb.no .
Capital Markets Day and exhibition
From 1200 hrs to 1700 hrs on the same day, Telenor will arrange for the first time a capital markets day aimed at investors and analysts, and the press will also be able to attend. For further details, please go to www.telenor.no/ir. From 0930 hrs the visitor’s centre will be open with access to presentations and small exhibitions on selected themes. Light refreshments will also be available from 1100 hrs.
The complete quarterly report and presentation used at the press conference and the Capital Markets Day will be made available at www.telenor.no/ir.