Telenor concluded the previous year on a high note, showcasing robust top-line growth and a formidable cash flow throughout the fourth quarter and the entire year.
Sigve Brekke, Telenor’s CEO, expressed satisfaction, stating, “I am very pleased that we continue to deliver growth with new and improved products to our customers, concurrently maintaining Norway’s best and fastest network, as indicated by customer surveys.”
In the fiscal year 2023, service revenues amounted to NOK 62.5 billion, reflecting an organic increase of 4.0 percent compared to the previous year. EBITDA reached NOK 34.6 billion, denoting organic growth of 2.8 percent. The total free cash flow reached NOK 15 billion.
Fourth-quarter results were equally impressive, with service revenues reaching NOK 16.1 billion, a 4.9 percent increase from the same period the previous year. EBITDA stood at NOK 8.5 billion, marking an organic increase of 3.9 percent. The quarter’s free cash flow amounted to NOK 4.9 billion before M&A.
Brekke commented, “The fourth quarter was yet another strong quarter for Telenor,” highlighting the significant growth in service revenues and EBITDA for Telenor Nordics and Telenor Asia during the quarter.
The acceleration of artificial intelligence has heightened the necessity for enhanced security measures, particularly amid the increased digitalization observed in 2023. Brekke emphasized the importance of investing in digital security, citing the rising cyber threats faced by Norwegian businesses and public entities.
In the fourth quarter alone, Telenor thwarted approximately 300 million attempts at digital crime against Norwegian customers, indicating a 30 percent increase from the previous quarter. Brekke urged individuals and businesses to remain vigilant and take actions to safeguard their digital lives.
The rise of artificial intelligence has empowered criminal groups with a new set of tools, creating heightened unpredictability. Telenor intercepted 280 million fraud calls globally in 2023, with 31 million in Norway and 63 million in the Nordic region.
Extreme weather conditions in 2023 tested critical infrastructure, setting global records for warmth. Brekke expressed pride in Telenor’s grid resilience during extreme weather events, reaffirming the company’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Telenor aims to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by 2045. The company influences its suppliers to adopt science-based climate targets, with over half of its purchases currently from such suppliers.
Telenor’s network continued to be recognized for its excellence, winning awards for Norway’s fastest network and best network by Ookla for the sixth consecutive year. Financial outlook for 2024 includes low single-digit organic growth in Nordic service revenues, medium single-digit organic growth in both Nordic and Group EBITDA, and a Nordic capex to sales ratio of around 17 percent. The projected free cash flow for 2024 is expected to be between NOK 9-10 billion before M&A and potential items related to prior years’ activities.