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SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 17 (SeeNews) - Telenor said on Monday the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of its Bulgarian unit eased to 581 million Norwegian krona ($70.9 million/61.9 million euro) in the first half of 2017 from 582 million Norwegian krona in the same period last year.
The Norwegian telecommunications group's total revenues decreased by 0.8% year-on-year to 1.5 billion Norwegian krona in January-June, while its EBITDA margin rose to 38.4% from 38.1%, the company said in an interim report.
Telenor said it has used an exchange rate of 4.6906 Norwegian krona for one Bulgarian lev in its calculations.
In the second quarter alone, Telenor Bulgaria reported EBITDA of 302 million Norwegian krona, up from 295 million Norwegian krona last year. Total revenues grew 1.7% to 780 million Norwegian krona in the review period. The EBITDA margin rose to 38.7% from 38.5% in the second quarter of 2016.
The number of Telenor's subscribers in Bulgaria declined by 91,000 during the second quarter to 3.23 million at end-June.
"The number of mobile subscriptions decreased by 91,000 during the quarter. This was mainly a result of churn following the mandatory registration of the prepaid base in the second quarter. At the end of the quarter, the subscription base was 8% lower than same time last year," Telenor Group said.
Capital expenditure fell to 102 million Norwegian krona during the first half, from 123 million Norwegian krona in the same period last year. The expenditures were mainly related to 4G coverage and site roll-out. At the end of the second quarter, the 4G population coverage reached 89%
Telenor bought Bulgarian mobile operator Globul from Greece's OTE for 717 million euro in 2013. In November 2014, Globul was rebranded to Telenor Bulgaria.
On the Bulgarian mobile segment, Telenor competes with Mtel, the local unit of Telekom Austria, Bulgarian telecommunications group BTC, which operates under the brand name Vivacom, as well as with 4G operator Max.
(1 euro = 9.380 Norwegian krona)