Telenor showed good momentum going into the first quarter We continue to develop security services to protect our customers against digital attacks

Telenor showed good momentum going into the first quarter with top-line growth in both the Nordics and Asia.

“The first quarter was yet another solid quarter for Telenor. We continue to develop security services to protect our customers against digital attacks, and we see that it is important for our customers,” says Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor.

Services revenues in the first quarter ended at NOK 15.8 billion, corresponding to an organic increase of 5.6 per cent compared to the same period last year. EBITDA ended at NOK 8.5 billion, corresponding to organic growth of 6.9 per cent. Free cash flow amounted to NOK 3.3 billion before M&A.

Telenor Nordics and Telenor Asia delivered five and six per cent growth in service revenues respectively in the first quarter of the year, while organic EBITDA growth ended at eight and five per cent.

Cyber security threat on the rise
In the first three months of the year, Telenor stopped more than 500 million attempts at digital crime against its customers in Norway.

“The significant scale of these attacks tells us this is a serious social problem. The attacks are carried out by well-organised criminal networks, and new technology makes it increasingly easier to mass-produce various forms of attacks,” says Brekke.

The figures for the quarter show an increase of almost 70 per cent compared to the previous quarter. At the same time, not surprisingly, the customers’ appetite for security products is increasing.

“We work every day to protect our customers against digital threats with new and even better products, ” continues Brekke.

AI in the wind
Artificial intelligence (AI) is on everyone’s lips, both in the public and in business.

“Today, we use AI in several areas. We use it to optimize our networks, manage our power consumption, in customer service and much more. But that’s not enough. As the speed at which AI develops, you risk being outdated tomorrow if you don’t act now,” says Brekke.

This quarter, Telenor entered a strategic collaboration with NVIDIA, which is the engine behind the largest and most important AI systems.

“We will work together in a number of areas with the goal to accelerate AI in the Nordic region. This means, among other things, that AI will be integrated into all aspects of our business, from the workplace and the value chain to the customer experiences. Everything that can be improved with AI will be improved with AI,” says Brekke.

The world’s largest mobile network
The opening of the world’s southernmost base station in Antarctica in February marked a historic event for Telenor. The establishment means that the Norwegian research station Troll in Antarctica has received extensive coverage in the area around the research station.

“This base station is the world’s southernmost commercial station and is operated by Telenor Svalbard, which is also responsible for operating the world’s northernmost base station in Ny-Ålesund. Telenor’s network thus spans from the world’s northernmost to the world’s southernmost base station,” says Brekke.

Financial outlook for 2024:

  • Low single-digit organic growth in Nordic service revenues.
  • Medium single-digit organic growth in both Nordic and Group EBITDA.
  • Nordic capex to sales ratio of around 17 per cent.
  • Free cash flow of between NOK 9-10 billion before M&A and potential items for Group.

Key figures for Telenor Group*

  First quarter Year
NOK in million 2024 2023 2023
Service revenues 15 773 14 823 62 567
Organic service revenue growth (%) 6 % 3 % 4 %
Total Revenues 19 457 19 187 80 452
Organic revenue growth (%) 2 % 4 % 3 %
Operating expenses (6 704) (6 441) (26 832)
EBITDA before other income and other expenses 8 505 8 078 34 564
Organic EBITDA growth (%) 7 % 2 % 3 %
Operating profit 5 631 3 834 16 964
Net income from associated companies and joint ventures 7 295 (191) (8 466)
Net income attributable to equity holders of Telenor ASA 11 560 18 146 13 734
Capex excl. lease 3 137 3 535 12 731
Free cash flow before M&A 3 288 431 9 490
Total Free cash flow 5 412 5 666 15 003
Leverage 2.2 2.1 2.2