Telenor to cut more jobs as part of cost optimization

Telenor said it is expecting revenue growth of up to 2 percent annually until 2022, as it cuts costs further and rolls out 5G telecoms networks.
Telenor grows in AsiaTelenor has slashed 22 percent of jobs since 2015, not counting acquisitions and divestment, and could cut a further 15 percent in the next three years, equivalent to around 3,000 full-time positions, the company said.

“Solid growth opportunities in emerging Asia, and the strong customer demand for adjacent services in the Nordics is expected to be supportive of revenue growth,” Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke said as Telenor laid out its 2020-2022 strategy.

Telenor said job cut, automation, shutting of copper networks and improving the efficiency of other technology will lead to a savings rate of between 3 billion-4 billion Norwegian crowns ($322 million-$430 million) per year by the end of 2022.

Revenue from subscriptions and telecoms traffic on Telenor networks is forecast to grow in a range of 0 percent-2 percent per year over this period, while net operating expenses will be reduced by 1 percent-3 percent annually.

Telenor, which has 186 million mobile phone customers in nine countries across northern Europe and Asia, in the last three years sought to cut costs and boost its cash flow to allow the payment of bigger dividends.

Telenor’s predicted cost cuts were ambitious, and could potentially offset the impact of relatively modest growth forecasts, analysts at J.P. Morgan wrote in a note to clients.

5G network build-out should not increase its overall investment as a percentage of revenue, the company said as it maintained a goal of keeping capital expenditure at around 15 percent of sales.

Telenor in late January posted a bigger-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter profit and said its underlying earnings would grow by between 2 percent and 4 percent in 2020 after declining last year.