TeliaSonera is to focus on its core European operations after announcing plans to exit markets such as Georgia, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Uzbekistan.
The Scandinavia-based operator said the process to dispose of its businesses had started, but that it was impossible to say how long it would take to leave all of them.
In total, TeliaSonera hopes to exit seven of the 17 markets in which it operates: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Nepal, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.
The operator’s second quarter financial results reveal that revenues from Eurasia accounted for 21 percent of its TeliaSonera’s total net sales.
They rose 13.9 percent to SEK 5.7 billion (€611 million), despite a major earthquake in Nepal and a price war in Kazakhstan.
However, TeliaSonera has faced severe difficulties in the region in recent times; in 2013, alleged corruption forced the operator’s Managing Director, CFO, and President of Mobility Services to resign.
A year later, the US Department of Justice requested documents from TeliaSonera about its transactions in Uzbekistan, while the operator revealed it could sue former executives for damages over their role.
In 2013, under the guidance of newly installed President and CEO Johan Dennelind, the company created a new operating model for its Eurasian operations.
Dennelind said: “Thanks to two years of hard work to improve the Eurasian operations, not least from a corporate governance and sustainability perspective, we now have better and more well-managed companies which we believe others can successfully develop further.
“We realise that this will be a complex task that will take time. We are conducting this process market by market as each country and operation has its unique situation, but the ambition is to eventually leave the entire region.”