Solid year and fourth quarter 2023 for Telenor

Via Telenor

Feb 7, 2024

Fornebu: Telenor ended last year strongly with solid top-line growth and strong cash flow both in the fourth quarter and for the full year.

"I am very pleased that we continue to deliver growth with new and better products to our customers, at the same time as customer surveys show that we have Norway's best and fastest network," says Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor.

Service revenues for the full year 2023 ended up at NOK 62.5 billion, corresponding to an organic increase of 4.0 per cent compared to last year. EBITDA ended at NOK 34.6 billion, corresponding to organic growth of 2.8 per cent compared to the year before. Total free cash flow amounted to NOK 15 billion.

Service revenues for the fourth quarter were NOK 16.1 billion, up 4.9 per cent compared with the same period last year. EBITDA ended at NOK 8.5 billion, corresponding to an organic increase of 3.9 per cent. Free cash flow for the quarter was NOK 4.9 billion before M&A.

"The fourth quarter was yet another strong quarter for Telenor," continues Brekke.

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

Artificial intelligence accelerates the need for increased security measures

During 2023, digitalization has reached new heights. At the same time, the world is characterized by geopolitical tension, which creates increased unrest and uncertainty for both individuals and businesses. All services society depends on, such as water supply, payment services, health and emergency services and electricity supply, are to a large extent digital.

"Increased digitalisation leads to greater vulnerability, which is why investments in digital security are just as important as investments in artificial intelligence. Norwegian businesses and public enterprises are exposed to more and more serious cyber-attacks”, says Brekke.

In the fourth quarter alone, Telenor stopped around 300 million attempts at digital crime against Norwegian customers, which is an increase of around 30 percent compared to the previous quarter.

With artificial intelligence on the rise, we are facing a new era. Criminal groups have gained access to a new toolbox that creates increased unpredictability.

"Whether you're an individual or a business owner, we are all targets. Therefore, we must adapt, be vigilant and take action to protect our digital lives and values", says Brekke.

In 2023, Telenor stopped 280 million fraud calls globally, out of which 31 million in Norway and 63 million in the Nordic region.

Extreme weather puts important infrastructure to the test

2023 set quite a few weather records and is internationally considered the warmest year ever recorded.

"I'm proud of how our grid coped with the extreme weather last year. This shows that our long-term commitment to upgrading the grid has the desired effect. Every year, we invest around NOK six billion in development and upgrades in Norway, to provide our customers with the best and safest network," says Brekke.

Telenor's goal is to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and zero emissions by 2045. Telenor is also using its influence to impact its suppliers to set science-based climate targets. So far, more than half of all the company's purchases are from suppliers that have set science-based climate targets. By 2025, around 70 per cent of Telenor's purchases will be made from suppliers that have set science-based climate targets.

"Extreme weather makes it even clearer that society must prepare for a future where nature sets the agenda. Telenor must take our share of the responsibility here, including reducing our own emissions," says Brekke.

Delivering Norway's fastest and best grid

"Not only was our network once again voted Norway's fastest, we also received the award for Norway's best network by Ookla. This makes us very proud," says Brekke.

For the sixth consecutive year, Telenor's network was named Norway's fastest by Ookla Speedtest. Telenor’s Finnish company DNA won the Finnish Quality Award and ranked highest in customer satisfaction among Finnish mobile operators, according to EPSI Rating.

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 related to prior years’ activities.

 

Key figures for Telenor Group

 

Fourth quarter

Year

NOK in million

2023

2022

2023

2022

Service revenues

16 073

14 984

62 540

59 760

Organic service revenue growth (%)

5%

-2%

4%

3%

Total Revenues

20 934

19 667

80 452

76 877

Organic revenue growth (%)

4%

3%

3%

4%

Operating expenses

(7 282)

(6 755)

(26 832)

(25 229)

EBITDA before other income and other expenses

8 467

8 040

34 564

33 830

Organic EBITDA growth (%)

4%

0%

3%

1%

Operating profit

3 769

3 327

16 964

15 143

Net income from associated companies and joint ventures

(8,198)

(37)

(8,466)

(301)

Net income attributable to equity holders of Telenor ASA

(7 683)

37 906

13 734

44 913

Capex excl. lease

3 094

4 020

12 731

13 560

Free cash flow before M&A

4 919

2 546

9 490

9 865

Total Free cash flow

5 525

948

15 003

10 604

Leverage

2.2

2.2

2.2

2.2

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