Tele2 CEO: 'Hope springs eternal' during pandemicTele2 CEO: 'Hope springs eternal' during pandemic
Kjell Johnsen was in a philosophical mood as the Sweden-based operator announced plans to pay a 12.5% higher dividend for 2021 compared to last year.
February 1, 2022
Kjell Johnsen was in a philosophical mood as he presented the fourth-quarter and full-year results for Sweden-based Tele2.
In his comments on the report, the Tele2 president and group CEO noted that "hope springs eternal" illustrated the realities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
"At the beginning of the year, we were not sure what to expect and life taught us a few lessons on the way. Having said that, 2021 was a good year for Tele2 in several ways," he said.
Figure 1: The Sweden-based operator plans to pay a 12.5% higher dividend for 2021 compared to last year.
(Source: Aleksey Zotov / Alamy Stock Photo)
Johnsen noted that Tele2 had been able to lift its guidance over the year, "and we are now pleased to announce that we have delivered on these increased targets and that we have created a business that enables us to reiterate our mid-term targets."
Dow Jones Newswires pointed out that while the operator posted a much lower net profit of SEK 910 million (US$97.6 million) in the fourth quarter of the year compared to SEK4.48 billion ($483 million) a year earlier, the figure was higher than forecast. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected SEK 823 million ($88.86 million), the news agency reported.
Tele2 is also increasing its 2021 dividend by 12.5% to SEK 6.75 ($0.72) per share. Guidance for 2022 is for low-single digit end-user service revenue growth and mid-single digit growth for underlying EBITDAaL compared to 2021.
Capex excluding spectrum and leasing assets is expected to be SEK 2.8 billion to SEK 3.3 billion ($302 million to $356 million) in 2022.
In 2021 as a whole, revenue increased 2% to SEK 26.79 billion ($2.89 billion), while underlying EBITDAaL rose 5% to SEK9.64 billion ($1 billion). In the fourth quarter of the year, revenue increased by 2% to SEK7 billion ($755 million) and underlying EBITDAal was 1% higher at SEK2.37 billion ($255 million).
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Tele2 is still in the middle of a three-year business transformation program that aims to cut operational expenditure in Sweden by SEK1 billion ($107 million).
Johnsen indicated that the operator is now delaying the completion of the program from the end of 2022 to the end of June 2023. Nevertheless, he insisted that Tele2 is still confident that it will achieve its target, and noted that cost savings of SEK 500 million had been achieved in 2021.
— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading
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