Telenor Q3 earnings lag forecasts, pandemic in Asia weighs




  • In Business
  • 2021-10-28 05:37:21Z
  • By Reuters
 

By Victoria Klesty

OSLO (Reuters) -Norway's Telenor posted quarterly earnings which lagged forecasts on Thursday as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and reiterated its outlook for 2021.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for July-September fell to 12.86 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.52 billion) from 13.62 billion in the year-earlier period, lagging the 13.19 billion analysts expected in a poll compiled by Telenor.

The group, which gets roughly half its revenue from Asia and the rest from the Nordics serving 172 million customers, said the pandemic in Asia was to blame.

"The low level of international travel and roaming volumes will likely remain until restrictions are eased and mass-vaccination has gained traction," Telenor said in a statement.

Subscription and traffic revenue dropped to 20.7 billion crowns from 21.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Its Myanmar business, which is held for sale, is not included in the numbers.

Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar operations earlier this year following a military coup.

Citing difficulties of operating under the military junta, Telenor in July agreed to sell its business in the Southeast Asian nation to Lebanese investment firm M1 Group for $105 million.

The company has since cited pressure from the junta to activate intercept surveillance technology as its primary reason for quitting the country.

Myanmar's military rulers have asked Telenor executives not to leave the country pending regulatory approval of the deal, a junta minister told Reuters on Oct. 19.

(Additional reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Christopher Cushing)

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