Telia Sonera doles out billions on strong report

Swedish-Finnish telecom firm Telia Sonera has reported a profit after financial items of 6.98 billion kronor ($947 million) for the final quarter 2009, up from 6.58 billion in the corresponding period of 2008.

Analysts had anticipated a profit of 6.75 billion, according to a Reuters survey.

Telia Sonera’s CEO Lars Nyberg emphasised that he was satisfied with the company’s annual report.

“Thanks to a good combination of mature markets and growth markets we have managed to retain turnover in local currencies, report the highest Ebitda [Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] result ever and improve cashflow with as much as 50 percent,” Nyberg said.

Turnover came in at 27.41 billion kronor, in comparison with 28.1 billion in 2008.

Ebitda operating results, excluding extraordinary items amounted to 9.04 billion kronor, up from 8.27 billion kronor in the fourth quarter 2008. Analyst expectations were 8.77 billion, according to Reuters.

Telia Sonera forecast that turnover in local currency and excluding acquisitions will be somewhat higher this year than last. Currency fluctuations can have a significant impact on the amounts reported in Swedish kronor, the company advised.

Lars Nyberg pointed out that the company has managed to break the trend of continual cost increases. Strong cashflow enables the firm to make investments during 2010 to ensure Telia Sonera’s future growth, he added.

Telia Sonera’s board has recommended a dividend payment of 2.25 kronor per share, amounting to a total of 10.1 billion kronor, in comparison with 1.80 kronor per share last year.

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