Finnish telecom Elisa's second-quarter profit rises on cost cuts, data demand

TALLINN (Reuters) - Finnish telecom service provider Elisa ELISA.HE on Wednesday reported higher profit for the April-June quarter, boosted by cost cuts, growth in consumer business as the coronavirus-induced lockdown helped boost customers' data usage.

The company’s earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortisations (EBITDA) came in at 168 million euros (£152.3 million), up 6% from last year. The numbers were in line with analysts’ average forecast of 168.7 million euros in a Refinitiv poll.

Elisa said the lockdowns in Finland and Estonia boosted data usage on its mobile network that surged over 40% in the second quarter from last year.

However, group sales grew just 2% as shoppers were reluctant to enter stores for non-essentials during the lockdown.

“Mobile churn levels and equipment sales have decreased due to the reduced number of customer visits to physical stores, and roaming revenue has reduced as travelling has been virtually non-existent,” the Finnish company said.

Elisa, which competes with Telia TELIA.ST and Telenor's TEL.OL DNA for Finnish market share, reiterated that it expects 2020 revenue and EBITDA at the same level or slightly higher than 2019, despite mounting risks of an economic slowdown.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sherry Jacob-Phillips