Telenor reports Q1 loss after writing off Myanmar business following coup

Telenor's 37th LightHouse follows the mission of digital literacy in Myanmar. Photo: Telenor.

Norway’s Telenor said on Tuesday it had written off the value of its Myanmar operation in light of the country’s deteriorating security and human rights situation, plunging the group into a loss in the first quarter.

Telenor’s mobile operation in the Asian country, where it has operated since 2014, remains severely restricted following the military’s seizing of power in a Feb. 1 coup.

Telenor serves 187 million customers in nine countries across Europe and Asia, of which 18.2 million are in Myanmar.

“We see an irregular, uncertain, and deeply concerning situation,” Telenor Chief Executive Sigve Brekke said in a statement commenting on Myanmar.

“Due to the worsening of economic and business environment outlook and a deteriorating security and human rights situation, we see limited prospects of improvement going forward,” he said.

Based on this, Telenor fully impaired Telenor Myanmar in its first-quarter accounts, booking a loss of 6.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($783 million) and removing the operation from its overall corporate outlook for 2021.

As a result of the impairment, the Telenor group’s net earnings plunged to a loss of 3.9 billion Norwegian crowns in the first quarter from a year-ago profit of 698 million crowns.

Telenor’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for January-March fell 8% year-on-year to 13 billion crowns, while analysts in a poll on average had expected 13.1 billion crowns.

For the remainder of its operations, Telenor reiterated full-year guidance for organic revenue and earnings to remain unchanged year-on-year from 2020 and repeated that capital expenditure would amount to between 15% and 16% of sales.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.