Telenor Hungaryʼs fourth-quarter revenues rose 7.2% year-on-year to HUF 40.2 billion, an earnings report released by parent company Telenor on Wednesday shows. EBITDA rose 9.1% to HUF 11.0 bln.
Turnover was lifted by higher average revenue per user (ARPU) among retail post-paid subscribers and migration from pre-paid to post-paid contracts. Subscriber numbers rose 43,000 in the fourth quarter alone.
According to reports last Friday, Telenor has received an "expression of interest" for its mobile operations in Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary, potentially signifying its departure from this country.
Adding weight to this speculation, the parent company - following the release of its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday - revealed that it will lay off as many as 6,000 employees in the next three years due to automation of services and in order to eliminate overlaps, online news portal index.hu reported. The company already cut some 2,600 jobs last year, it noted.
In a separate article, index.hu speculates that the Hungarian state, or perhaps even oligarch Lőrinc Mészáros, a close ally of the prime minister whose wealth and business interests have mushroomed spectacularly since Fidesz took power in 2010, might be interested in the local operations of Telenor, thereby fulfilling what is thought to be a long-cherished desire of the government to create a national telecom operator.
Telenor entered the Hungarian market in 1994. It has an almost 30% market share with 3.5 million individual and corporate subscribers. Telenor Hungary has a staff numbering about 1,000.