TeliaSonera delivers 20% profit rise

Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera, the largest in northern Europe, posted better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter as strong mobile and broadband growth pushed sales higher.

Net profit rose by 20 percent to 4.27 billion kronor in the January-March period from 3.56 billion kronor in the same period a year ago.

Pre-tax profit rose to 5.54 billion from 4.57 billion a year ago, far exceeding analysts’ average forecast of 4.54 billion kronor.

Operating profit grew by 16.5 percent to 5.44 billion kronor, and excluding exceptional items rose to 6.12 billion.

Sales increased from 20.8 billion kronor a year earlier to 21.97 billion.

“We had a very strong quarter with six percent growth, two percentage points higher margin and more than six billion kronor results from operations. All operations improved results,” TeliaSonera chief executive Anders Igel said in a statement.

The price of the TeliaSonera share rose on the news, climbing by around four percent to 49.90 kronor on the Stockholm stock exchange in midday trading.



Telia leaks customers’ private phone logs

Swedish telecom firm Telia has come under fire after the company published customers' private information, leaked their bills online, and revealed lists of SMS and phone call recipients.

Telia leaks customers' private phone logs

Several customers of Telia, the Swedish subsidiary of Swedish-Finnish telecom company TeliaSonera, learned this week that their information had been leaked for several months and was still available on Google cached documents. One of those affected was 28-year-old Madelene Dalebrand Wachler from Hudiksvall in eastern Sweden.

“[Swedish tabloid] Aftonbladet rang me and explained that my billing statements were viewable online… you could come in directly and see it all – all the calls I’d made and all the people to whom I had sent an SMS,” she told The Local.

The information came with names, addresses, telephone numbers and even lengths of the phone calls.

“It’s terrible. Some of the people I had contacted had private and unpublished numbers, and all of this has been leaked by Telia,” she added.

Wachler has since contacted authorities at Sweden’s Data Inspectorate (Datainspektionen) who have promised to launch an investigation into the matter.

“I’m also looking into getting compensation from Telia. Information shouldn’t be available like this, it’s horrible and it’s quite scary actually. And it makes it harder to trust all these big companies,” she said.

Telia spokesman Hans G. Larsson was shocked to learn of the leaks, confirming that only a few people were affected.

“This in unacceptable, of course, and it’s something we will be looking into. We do offer our customers confidentiality and this involves the data protection act,” he told Aftonbladet.

He explained that the system had been shuttered later on Monday night, which meant no customers were able to see their own statements online at the time.

“If you need to pay a bill over the coming days, you can log into My Pages [Mina sidor] on Telia to see the statements,” Larsson told the TT news agency.

“Thank goodness, this seems to have been very limited. Nothing points to it being a large group of customers being affected, but it’s bad enough already,” Larsson told the TT news agency.

Oliver Gee

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