Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor swung to a net loss in the first quarter as it booked a massive impairment charge on its Indian operations, and said its outlook was clouded by the legal troubles of its Indian unit.
State-controlled Telenor reported a net loss of 390 million crowns in the quarter, after a profit of 3.0 billion crowns a year earlier as it wrote off the remaining 3.9 billion crown value of its Indian Uninor unit due to the risk of the firm losing its licence.
The Supreme Court of India earlier this year ordered the cancellation of 122 telecoms licences after a corruption-tainted licensing round and the new proposed fees are so high, Telenor said they would make it "almost impossible" to remain in India.
The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which exclude the one-off charge, rose 2.9% to 7.62 billion crowns but that was still below forecasts for 7.79 billion crowns.
Telenor said the Indian troubles cloud its outlook and its updated guidance now excludes Indian operations.
Based on the new guidance, full-year revenue is expected to grow at a rate "above 4%" after a previous target for "above 5%" set three months ago.
Telenor did not provide comparative guidance figures but said "on comparable basis, the positive outlook is maintained."