February 2, 2018 / 6:54 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Tele2 says will aim to grow dividends, Q4 core profit matches forecasts

(Adds detail, background)

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Telecom operator Tele2, which is taking over cable TV firm Com Hem, said on Friday it would aim to grow dividends as it posted a fourth-quarter core profit in line with expectations.

* Q4 sales rose to SEK 6.64 bln ($845.8 mln) from 6.34 bln vs 6.46 bln seen in Reuters poll, while EBITDA increased to SEK 1.53 bln from 1.46 bln vs 1.52 bln seen in poll

* Kinnevik controlled Tele2 says new dividend policy is to increase dividend over time, and sticks to principle of returns of any excess cash. The company has proposed a dividend of 4.00 SEK for 2017

* Says Challenger program expected to result in more than SEK 1 bln of benefits in 2018 compared to the 2014 baseline, including the now discontinued operations in the Netherlands and Austria

* Says integration of acquired TDC is progressing well and we are approaching our target run-rate benefits of around SEK 300 million

* Says in 2018 we will therefore look for further opportunities beyond our earlier target level, and we believe this is achievable with a lower integration cost than the SEK 750 million previously communicated

* Tele2 in January agreed a $3.2 billion takeover of Com Hem amid a global wave of mergers reshaping the telecoms and media sector

* Another deal involving Kinnevik controlled companies was announced on Thursday, when Danish telecoms operator TDC said it had agreed a $2.5 billion takeover of Swedish media group MTG’s broadcasting and entertainment business Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: ($1 = 7.8534 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm)

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