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.