Tele2 fourth-quarter tops forecast, launches new restructuring program

FILE PHOTO: A logo is on display at a Tele2 company's sales office in St. Petersburg, April 2, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish telecoms operator Tele2 TEL2b.ST reported quarterly core earnings above market forecasts on Monday and proposed a higher ordinary dividend and a special dividend to be paid out for 2019.

The company also said it was launching a new transformation program aimed at boosting growth and cutting costs by at least 1 billion crowns ($105 million) over the coming three years.

“From 2020 onward we are aiming for growth and we believe that the foundation we laid in 2019 and initiatives launched in

2020 will take us there,” Tele2 CEO Anders Nilsson said in a statement.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were 2.70 billion Swedish crowns, up from 1.88 billion crowns in the year-earlier quarter, and above the 2.63 billion mean analyst forecast according to Refinitiv data.

Tele2 proposed an ordinary dividend of 5.50 crowns per share for 2019, up 25% from the previous year, and an extraordinary dividend of 3.50 crowns per share.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Simon Johnson