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TeliaSonera posts bumper interim profit

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TeliaSonera posts bumper interim profit
09:49 CEST+02:00
Swedish-Finnish telecom firm TeliaSonera has posted a pre-tax profit of 5.5 billion kronor ($830 million) for the second quarter of 2013, indicating that business-wise the firm has emerged relatively unscathed from the Uzbekistan bribes scandal.

"I think we have coped quite well given the media pressure we've had on the company, said TeliaSonera CEO Per-Arne Blomquist in a statement.

Sales remained stable in the quarter and continued cost-cutting enabled the firm to improve on analyst profit forecasts, while dipping below the 6 billion posted in the corresponding period of last year.

"In the second quarter, organic revenue growth turned positive and margins improved further," Blomquist said.

Turnover amounted to 25.274 billion kronor, compared to 26.294 billion kronor in the corresponding period of 2012. EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, amounted to 8.928 billion kronor, compared with 9.034 billion kronor a year earlier.

Sales for mobile services in Europe declined in most countries, although austerity-hit Spain reported a 20 percent improvement. The firm reported an increase in demand for fibre broadband, a reaction to the shift to online streaming television services.

"Network quality and capacity are crucial to meeting the exploding demand for data; therefore we will further invest in 4G and mobile coverage, expand within fibre and selectively target acquisitions of existing fibre networks in our home markets," Per-Arne Blomquist said.

The firm reported no change in its forecasts for the remainder of 2013.

The stock market responded positively to the report in early trading on Wednesday, with TeliaSonera stock climbing 1.6 percent.

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