Telia toasted a profitable 2017 as disposals led to a jump in net income, but sales and EBITDA growth was harder to come by.
Like-for-like revenues ticked up 0.4 percent year-on-year to SEK 79.87 billion, despite a 0.3 percent decline in Q4.
Sales were down 1.3 percent in Sweden last year due to lower fixed-line sales, with growth in the number of IoT, mobile and TV customers unable to offset the loss of almost 300,000 fixed telephony subscribers.
The ARPU of mobile customers in Finland pushed revenues there up 2.1 percent to SEK13.74 billion, while wholesale revenues pushed sales up 2.4 percent to SEK10.13 billion in Norway.
Revenues also rose in Estonia and Lithuania, but fell in Denmark.
A mixed EBITDA performance across Telia's opcos meant group EBITDA fell 0.2 percent to SEK25.44 billion last year.
However, net income was up by 56.2 percent to SEK10.15 billion, as it ended up paying less than feared for corruption at its Uzbeki opco.
Profitability was also boosted by disposals in Eurasia, most recently its stake in MegaFon, and Telia announced a new divestment to accompany its full-year results.
Geocell, the Georgian mobile operator it jointly owns with Turkcell, has been sold to JSC Silknet, the country’s largest fixed network operator, for $153 million.
However, the price represents a loss of SEK100 million for Telia once impairments and currency changes are factored in.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, but Telia said it hopes to close the deal in the second quarter of 2018.
Telia CEO Johan Dennelind said the results gave the operator “a solid platform” for 2018 and forecast group EBITDA would be in line or slightly above 2017.
The year ahead could get trickier for Telia in its home market, following the news that rivals Tele2 and Com Hem are set to merge.