* EBITDA ex-items 9.0 bln SEK vs forecast 9.1 bln
* Sees flat revenues, better margin in 2013
(Adds background, detail)
STOCKHOLM Jan 31 Nordic and emerging markets
telecoms operator TeliaSonera said cost cuts should
lead to slightly improved profits for 2013 after it reported
fourth quarter earnings roughly in line with expectations.
Telia is shedding thousands of jobs as part of a
cost-cutting plan and CEO Lars Nyberg has warned of industry
stagnation until telecoms operators find a way to profit from
surging smartphone and tablet data traffic.
Telia's revenue has been roughly flat since 2008 despite a
rapid expansion in central Asia as it has been squeezed by
competition, regulatory pressure and global economic woes.
"Looking ahead, we believe our revenues in local currencies
in 2013 will be at the same level as last year and the EBITDA
margin, excluding non-recurring items, will increase somewhat,"
CEO Lars Nyberg said in a statement.
Telia said costs would fall in 2013 as it cuts 1,800 jobs in
the Nordic and Baltic region and would be reduced further in
2014 as it wraps up a previously announced programme to save 2
billion crowns annually.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, were 9.0 billion
Swedish crowns versus the average forecast of 9.1 billion in a
Reuters poll and last year's 9.3 billion.
Telia is also is the target of a preliminary investigation
by Swedish prosecutors into allegations of corruption related to
the purchase of a 3G license in Uzbekistan.
The company has denied it did anything wrong in buying the
license from an offshore company based in Gibraltar and has
appointed external investigators to look at the 2.3 billion
Telia's CEO has staked his job on the outcome of the
independent report, which will be made public on Feb. 1.
(Reporting by Simon Johnson, editing by Patrick Lannin)