Telia’s CEO has promised "vital" job cuts in Sweden as the operator plunged into the red in the second quarter.

Johan Dennelind said opex in its home market was “still too high” and described an associated fall in EBITDA as “disappointing” as he revealed 650 jobs would go, around eight percent of the Swedish workforce.

He predicted a five percent drop in costs in Sweden during the second half of the year as a result.

A further 200 jobs are set to go elsewhere in the company, although the CEO did not reveal where the axe would fall.

Dennelind described the job cuts as “vital”.

“We still see pressure on our legacy revenues and, as anticipated, falling one-off revenues from fibre,” he added.

The operator made a loss of SEK308 million in the three months to June, after making a profit of SEK3.9 billion 12 months ago, due to a three-pronged, pre-announced profit warning.

It has booked an impairment loss of SEK 1.5 billion at its opco in Uzbekistan, a write-down at Kazakhstan-based Rodnik and a capital loss on the divestment of Tcell.

All of the above are listed as discontinued operations as the operator continues to sell off assets outside of the Nordics and Baltics.

Dennelind said he remained confident they would be sold this year.

Net income from continuing operations was down from SEK2.85 billion to SEK1.19 billion, in part due to a 3.3 percent decline in EBITDA.

Group sales fell 0.4 percent year-on-year to SEK19.8 billion when measured in local currencies and excluding M&A activity.

In Sweden, sales were down two percent and EBITDA dropped 6.9 percent due to fixed-line issues.

Dennelind said the company was reaching “the tail of the fibre roll out potential” in Sweden and struggling with “permit and intermediary related issues”.

Elsewhere, sales were up in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania and Estonia, but Telia Carrier saw revenues decline by 5.4 percent.

Dennelind said: “We keep on shaping the new Telia in the Nordics and Baltics, while we work relentlessly to ensure a balanced exit from Eurasia in order to fully focus on the next phase of Telia Company.”

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