"Tele2 continued to show sustainable revenue and subscriber growth during the fourth quarter of 2012, although profitability was below our expectations. Several of our established markets, notably in Sweden and Russia, are reaching maturity while we continue to invest in new products and territories to fulfil our ambitions as a growth company, particularly in Kazakhstan, Norway and the Netherlands.
Tele2 is now set to develop its next areas of growth. This calls for extraordinary focus by our organization. To be successful we need to push and challenge ourselves - and continue to do the unexpected. Our growth ambition is tempered by stringent cost management, to ensure that we keep control when catching the next great wave of growth."
Net sales amounted to SEK 11,275 (10,852) million corresponding to a growth excluding exchange rate difference of 6 percent in the quarter. EBITDA in Q4 2012 amounted to SEK 2,672 (2,873) million, equivalent to an EBITDA margin of 24 (26) percent.
Good customer intake in market area Russia In Q4 2012, Tele2 Russia added 373,000 (250,000) customers, resulting in a total customer base of 22.7 (20.6) million. EBITDA amounted to SEK 1,243 (1,209) million, equivalent to an EBITDA margin of 37 (40) percent.
Sustained mobile revenue growth in market area Nordic
Mobile revenue in Sweden grew by 6 percent, as customer demand for smartphones and data services increased further during the quarter. The mobile EBITDA contribution in the quarter was SEK 748 (798) million due to increasing demand for high-end smartphones resulting in higher subsidies. Tele2 Norway performed according to plan during the quarter, focusing on rolling out the country's third mobile network.
Maintained operational progress in market area Central Europe & Eurasia
During the quarter, Tele2 Kazakhstan continued to expand its market share and added 361,000 (249,000) new customers in the quarter. The total customer base amounted to 3.4 (1.4) million. The Baltic operations experienced further price competition tackled with increased marketing efforts.
Significant progress within mobile in market area Western EuropeDuring the quarter, Tele2 Netherlands successfully secured mobile licenses for next generation mobile data services. Operationally, the company continued its marketing push within the mobile segment, adding 55,000 (2,000) customers. Tele2 Austria continued its steady operational development thanks to a combination of innovative product offers and tight cost control. Tele2 Germany experienced as expected further deterioration within the fixed telephony segment, which was partly offset by successful efforts within fixed via mobile offers.
The Board of Directors proposed a dividend for 2012 amounting to SEK 7.10The Board of Tele2 AB decided to recommend an increase in the ordinary dividend of 9 percent to SEK 7.10 (6.50) per share in respect of the financial year 2012.
The Interim report is available on reports.tele2.com/2012/Q4
Tele2 will host a conference call, with an interactive presentation, for the global financial community at 10:00 am CET (09:00 am UK time/04:00 am NY time) on Tuesday, February 5, 2012. The conference call will be held in English and also made available as an audiocast on Tele2's dedicated Q4 2012 website, reports.tele2.com/2012/Q4.
To ensure that you are connected to the conference call, please dial in a few minutes before the start of the conference call to register your attendance.
Sweden: +46 8 505 598 53
UK: +44 203 043 24 36
US: +1 866 458 40 87
Mats Granryd, President & CEO
T: + 46 (0)8 5620 0060
Lars Nilsson, CFO
T: +46 (0)8 5620 0060
Lars Torstensson, Director, Group Corporate Communication
T: + 46 (0)8 5620 0042
Tele2 (tele2.com) is one of Europe's leading telecom operators, always providing the best deal. We have 38 million customers in 11 countries. Tele2 offers mobile services, fixed broadband and telephony, data network services, cable TV and content services. Ever since Jan Stenbeck founded the company in 1993, it has been a tough challenger to the former government monopolies and other established providers. Tele2 has been listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm since 1996. In 2012, we had net sales of SEK 43.7 billion and reported an operating profit (EBITDA) of SEK 11 billion.