India impairment drags Telenor to loss

Norwegian telco Telenor swung to a loss due to its Indian ops; said outlook was clouded.

Written by Agencies | Oslo | Published: May 8, 2012 12:12:42 pm

Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor swung to a net loss in the first quarter as it booked a massive impairment charge on its Indian operations,and said its outlook was clouded by the legal troubles of its unit there in the wake of Supreme Court shooting down the 2G spectrum allocations.

State-controlled Telenor reported a net loss of 390 million crowns ($67.25 million) in the quarter,after a profit of 3.0 billion crowns a year earlier as it wrote off the remaining 3.9 billion crown value of its Indian Uninor unit due to the risk of the firm losing its licence.

India’s Supreme Court earlier this year ordered the cancellation of 122 telecoms licences after a corruption-tainted licensing round and the new proposed fees are so high,Telenor said they would make it almost impossible to remain in India.

The firm’s earnings before interest,taxes,depreciation and amortization (EBITDA),which exclude the one-off charge,rose 2.9 percent to 7.62 billion crowns but that was still below forecasts for 7.79 billion crowns.

Telenor said the Indian troubles cloud its outlook and its updated guidance now excludes Indian operations.

Based on the new guidance,full-year revenue is expected to grow at a rate above 4 percent after a previous target for above 5 percent set three months ago.

Telenor did not provide comparative guidance figures but said on comparable basis,the positive outlook is maintained. ($1=5.7996 Norwegian krones)

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