TeliaSonera reports profit up after job cuts

Finnish-Swedish telecoms company TeliaSonera said on Thursday it increased its third-quarter profit by 15 percent from the equivalent figure last year as a result of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures.

Profits during the quarter amounted to 4.64 billion kronor (529 million euro, $720 million), exceeding the forecasts by analysts interviewed by Dow Jones, who expected 4.5 billion kronor (513 million euro, $697 million.)

But net sales fell by 1.8 percent to 25.38 billion kronor (2.89 billion euro, $3.94 billion.)

"Profitability was supported by a further reduction in the cost base," TeliaSonera chief executive Johan Dennelind said.

Following a restructuring plan launched in October 2012, the company has laid off 1,460 workers, or about five percent of the total workforce.

"It is crucial to have an efficient organisation and an appropriate cost base," Dennelind said.

"We have to reduce complexity to enable an effective way of working, accelerate decision making and ensure our employees stay skilled and motivated."

Revenues continued to be impacted by "a difficult economic environment" and rules making it cheaper for mobile users to cancel their subscriptions, Dennelind said.

The biggest revenue falls were in Estonia (13 percent), Norway (8 percent), and Lithuania (7 percent), whereas Spain improved its figures by 3 percent thanks to the growth of its mobile operator Yoigo.