* Mobile data use boosts growth in Q2
* Q2 core earnings above forecasts
* Revenue outlook for year hit by devaluation of Kazakh
(Adds background, detail)
STOCKHOLM, July 16 Swedish telecom operator
Tele2 said mobile data use boosted growth in the
second quarter as it posted core earnings above forecasts on
Wednesday but said full year revenues would be hit by a
devaluation in Kazakhstan and lower handset sales.
Tele2 has for long been seen as a takeover target, with
media reports earlier this year saying Hongkong's Hutchison had
shown interest in its Swedish operations, and some analysts saw
the sale of its Norwegian business this month as a step towards
a break-up of the group.
Mobile end-user service revenue - excluding equipment sales
- grew by 7 percent in the second quarter, compared to 3 percent
in the first quarter.
"Our investment in this growth is having the anticipated
impact on our margins, as we are developing our mobile
operations in the Netherlands, Kazakhstan, and other markets,"
Tele2 Chief Executive Mats Granryd said in a statement.
Excluding its Norwegian business which it has agreed to sell
to rival TeliaSonera, Tele2's earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 1.47
billion crowns ($215 million), and were lifted by a one-off item
in the Netherlands of 48 million.
That compared with a forecast of 1.42 billion in a Reuters
poll of analysts and 1.47 billion a year ago.
Tele2 adjusted its forecasts for the year to reflect the
sale of its Norwegian business and said it now expected revenue
of between 24.8 and 25.2 billion crowns, EBITDA earnings of
between 5.7 and 5.8 billion, and a capex level of between 3.5
and 3.8 billion.
It said a devaluation in Kazakhstan and generally lower
handset sales had dented its revenue outlook for the year, but
that those factors had a limited impact on EBITDA earnings.
Its previous forecast was for revenue of around 30 billion
crowns in 2014, EBITDA earnings of around 6.0 billion, and a
capex level of about 4.5 billion.
($1 = 6.8185 Swedish Crowns)
(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)