Norway's Telenor posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter operating profits on Wednesday and said it expects its underlying earnings to rise in 2020 after last year's decline.
The company's October-December profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (adjusted EBITDA) rose 17% year-on-year to 11.88 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.33 billion), while analysts on average had expected profits of 11.68 billion.
"Entering 2020, we will continue to focus on growth, efficiency and simplification," Telenor said in a statement.
Organic revenue, which excludes effects of mergers and acquisitions, is expected to grow by up to 2% in 2020 from a 0.4% increase in 2019, while organic EBITDA will swing to a growth of 2%-4% from a decline of 2.2% last year.
Norway's second-largest company, which has 186 million customers in nine countries across Europe and Asia, raised its full-year dividend to 8.7 crowns per share from 8.4 crowns, slightly below analysts' average forecast for 8.8 crowns.