Telenor to decide Pakistan unit fate this year

Telenor to decide Pakistan unit fate this year

Bloomberg have reported that Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke said the operator will decide whether to divest Telenor Pakistan at the end of 2023, as the unit is currently under review. 

In an interview with the publication, Brekke said there are several options with discussions being held with a number of parties in regards to Telenor Pakistan. 

The Pakistani unit has been under review since 2022 and the Pakistan market been described in Telenor’s annual report as a “challenging business environment.”

Pakistan’s macroeconomic landscape was blamed for the unit reporting an impairment charge of NOK2.5 billion ($223.7 million), prompting speculation it was up for the chop. 

Telenor has been active in the merger and acquisition scene in Asia, having recently closed the merger between its unit dtac and True in Thailand, and of Celcom and Digi in Malaysia.

Telenor reported in its recent third quarter results, services revenues increasing 4% to NOK15.8 billion year-on-year and EBITDA grew 7% after adjusting for the charge in Pakistan.

In its Asian operations, Telenor noted its units delivered underlying growth despite a challenging macro-economic landscape. Telenor Asia reported service revenues and EBITDA grew 6% and 4% year-on-year respectively, driven by mobile revenue growth in Bangladesh and Pakistan. 

Growth in these two units "more than" offset negtaive impact from inflation including energy costs. 

 

its units held top position in three out of four markets with a total base of 200 million subscribers.

 

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