Telenor: Subs down, profits halved

Norway’s telco giant Telenor has reported some mixed results for its 2011 end-of-year numbers. The group’s broadcasting interests include satellites, encryption specialists Conax, and DTH broadcaster Canal Digital (which beams pay-TV channels to Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark).

Telenor’s annual profit halved in 2011, as higher costs dragged the firm into the red during the fourth quarter. Full-year profit of NRK7.9 billion (€1.03 billion) is down NRK6.8 billion on the firm’s 2010 net income, and comes despite annual revenue growth of NRK3.6 billion.  Part of the problem was a $712 million writedown related to its Indian operations after the Supreme Court there ordered 122 telecoms licenses revoked, including 22 held by Telenor, because of a corruption scandal.

Canal Digital lost 8,000 subs (compared to the same period in the previous year) to 965,000 but saw revenues grow 1 per cent to Norwegian Kroner 1.08 billion (NOK 1.047bn) helped by ARPU growth (to NOK 345) and higher sales of advanced set-top boxes and services.

Conax enjoyed 16 per cent organic growth during the year to December 31st, with a 28 per cent increase in the number of ‘smart cards’ issued.

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, which operates the THOR family of satellites, saw slightly reduced revenues (NOK 257m, down from NOK 259m) not helped by new financial terms agreed almost a year ago with Canal Digital, but compensated for with increased revenues flowing from outside the company’s core Scandinavian markets, in particular the Central & Eastern European region.

Canal Digital
DTH        965,000 (997,000)
Cable-TV    184,000 (233,000)*
SMATV        830,000 (894,000)
DTT        8,000  (11,000)
BBTV/IPTV    26,000 (22,000)
*Canal Digital’s Danish cable interests were sold in Q4/2011 to Stofa.

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