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Telia sees improvement in TV performance

Nordic telco Telia saw an improvement in its TV performance in the third quarter, with a return to subscriber growth and a reduced rate of decline in advertising sales.

“We continue to see improved demand for our free-to-air content in both Sweden and Finland. As a consequence, advertising revenues went from a 31 percent decline in the second quarter to a 12 percent decline in the third quarter. Encouragingly, we added 54,000 TV subscribers after two quarters of subscriber losses, driven by both Sweden and especially Finland as key sport coverage resumed,” said CEO Alison Kirkby.

Service revenues increased 2.2% to SEK18,733 million driven by the consolidation of TV and media, according to the company. Like for like, service revenues decreased 4.8% mainly due to declining mobile revenues in most markets as well as lower TV and advertising revenues in the TV and media unit.

Swedish commercial channel TV4’s revenues dropped by 13.2% to SEK1.632 billion for the quarter on a like for like basis, hit both by falling ad sales and by the loss of Swedish club football and its impact on subscriptions.

Among operating units, in Sweden, TV revenue was up 7% in the quarter to SEK919 million, helping to partially offset declines elsewhere. TV subs were up by 18,000 in the quarter in Sweden.

In Finland, TV revenues were down by 2.7%  to SEK574 million, compounding a decline in mobile revenues. Finnish TV subs declined by 4,000.

In Norway, TV revenues were down by 2.5% to SEK471 million, and TV subs also fell by 4,000.

In Lithuania, TV revenues rose by 4.6% to SEK251 million, and sub rose by 2,000. In Estonia, TV sales were down 0.9% to SEK209 million, and subs were flat year-on-year.

Around SEK 100 million of content costs were phased into the fourth quarter, leaving EBITDA better than expected at SEK 249 million, still a year-on-year decline of 7.5 percent.