BELGRADE (Serbia), October 29 (SeeNews) – Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor said on Thursday its Serbian wireless unit posted an operating loss of 1.55 billion Norwegian crowns ($271 million/184 million euro) in the first nine months of 2009 compared to an operating profit of 519 million crowns a year earlier.
In the second quarter of 2009 a group impairment loss of 1.97 billion Norwegian crowns was recognised relating to goodwill in Telenor Serbia. "The negative effects of the global financial crisis on the Serbian economy have led to an increase in the country risk premium included in the discount rates, and also to lowered margin and growth expectations for Telenor Serbia. Key assumptions applied in the updated value-in-use calculation for Telenor Serbia are discount rate after tax (WACC) of 20.3%-11.4% (pre tax 22.6% -12.7%) and revenue growth rate year 4-9 of 5% - 4%," Telenor said in a statement posted on its website.
Telenor Serbia's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before other items dropped to 928 million crowns through September from 1.02 billion crowns a year earlier, the statement said.
The operator's total revenue in the first nine months of 2009 fell slightly to 2.22 billion crowns from 2.33 billion crowns in the same period a year earlier.
“Revenues in local currency [dinar] decreased by 2.0% primarily due to lower voice and roaming revenues and sales discounts given by the distribution network implemented in 2009,” Telenor said in the statement.
“The number of subscriptions increased by 31,000 during the quarter, mainly driven by growth in contract subscriptions. The estimated subscription market share remained stable at 35%,” the statement also said.
Telenor’s competitors on the Serbian market of some 7.5 million people are state-owned Telekom Srbija's wireless unit, MTS, and VIP mobile, a unit of Telekom Austria.
Telenor is present in 13 countries. Across southeast Europe is also operates in Montenegro.
(1 euro=8.4175 Norwegian crowns)