Monthly Archives: July 2007

TeliaSonera says new CEO’s main task to build service company

TeliaSonera AB‘s chairman, Tom von Weymarn, said the main task of the company’s new chief executive Lars Nyberg, is to continue the process of transforming it into a ‘genuine’ service company.

He made the statement on an analysts call in connection with the company’s second quarter results.

‘We want him to speed up the process of changing the culture towards a service company,’ Weymarn said.

Commenting on the fact that the company is stressing that strategy, including dividend policy will remain unchanged despite just naming a new CEO, Weymarn said: ‘Company strategy is defined by the board, with recommendations from management. I don’t see any reason to change our strategy, it is the implementation we want to change.’

‘However if Lars brings in new ideas which will enhance shareholder value, it is clear that the board will listen,’ he added.

The previous chief executive, Anders Igel, was criticised by TeliaSonera for not being sufficiently visionary or motivational.

Weymarn said the chief executive remuneration remains unchanged from the previous chief executive’s.

‘The CEO package has the same targets ets as the previous CEO. It may be different in 2008 when we have a clean slate to work with,’ he said.

Chief financial officer Kim Ignatius said he hoped to keep the company’s credit rating.

‘We would not like to see our credit ratings fall just to continue with additional returns (cash distributions to shareholders). We are happy with the current rating, and hope to continue with it,’ Ignatius said.

Russian tycoon eyes Megafon stake – papers

Russian metals-to-media tycoon Alisher Usmanov is holding negotiations to acquire a significant stake in Russia’s No.3 mobile operator Megafon, Russian newspapers reported on Friday.

Vedomosti business daily quoted sources close to Usmanov as saying he was in talks to buy a 58 percent stake in holding company Telekominvest, which owns 31.3 percent of Megafon, from Luxemburg-registered First National Holding (FNH).

Usmanov earlier bought 15 percent of Telekominvest from North-West Telecom and said he wanted to boost his stake further. Other industry sources told Vedomosti Usmanov is also discussing a purchase of FNH’s stake in Megafon.

Telekominvest was founded in the mid-1990s by current Telecoms Minister Leonid Reiman. Reiman denies now being a beneficial owner.

Other large shareholders in Megafon are Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB (TLSN.ST: Quote, Profile, Research) and CT Mobile, a unit of private equity vehicle Alfa Group.

Kommersant daily said, quoting industry sources, that Usmanov, Russia’s 18th-richest man, is also in talks to acquire Bermuda-registered fund IPOC, which holds 8 percent of Megafon.

Both IPOC and FNH are owned by Jeffrey Galmond, a former associate of Reiman.

Vedomosti cited sources close to Usmanov denying he is interested in IPOC.

Kommersant said Usmanov is also in talks with TeliaSonera on buying out its stake.

Usmanov’s spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday the tycoon was in talks “with all parties involved, is interested in an acquisition but there was not firm deal yet.

TeliaSonera 2Q profit down 9%

Nordic mobile, fixed line and broadband group TeliaSonera has reported a 9% year-on-year drop in its second-quarter net profit, partly due to higher costs related to investments for future growth. The Stockholm-based telco said its growth strategy will remain unchanged and that it will continue to focus on developing its operations in its Scandinavian markets and ‘creating value’ in its Eurasian operations, including Turkey and Russia, as well as developing its investment in Spain.

In the three months ended 30 June 2007, TeliaSonera’s net profit fell to SEK3.83 billion (USD567 million), down from SEK4.21 billion in 2Q06, whilst operating income of SEK5.8 billion was down from SEK6.18 billion, on sales that rose to SEK23.9 billion, compared with SEK22.74 billion a year ago. The company warned that growth ‘comes at a price and is impacting short term profitability’, adding that a shift from traditional to new areas such as IP-based services ‘is crucial’ and will lead to the implementation of additional efficiency measures. In the first quarter of 2007, TeliaSonera launched a cost-savings programme aimed at saving around SEK1.5 billion in the full-year, and annual gross savings of SEK2.3 billion from 2008. The firm reiterated its future guidance, saying it expects continued growth in sales, reaching its target of around SEK100 billion in annual revenues in 2008. The group’s total subscribers reached 103.4 million at the end of June 2007, after adding 1.2 million new subscriptions in the quarter in majority-owned operations, and two million new customers at associated companies.

Telia gets new boss

Sweden and Finland’s largest telecoms operator, TeliaSonera, has appointed Lars Nyberg as its CEO.

Nyberg, who was credited with reviving the fortunes of US company National Cash Register in the mid-nineties and who has also worked for AT&T, was described as a “visionary leader” by TeliaSonera’s chairman on Friday.

Nyberg takes over after Anders Igel, who was fired in mid-June. A relative unknown in Sweden, he moved back from the US in 2003, since when he has sat on a number of company boards.

“He is admired and well-known in the United States,” said chairman Tom von Weyman.

“Among his most important qualities are his ability to enthuse people and to bring them along with him. The fact that he could turn around a company on the edge of bankruptcy is perhaps not his most important attribute in this context, but it’s not bad to know that he can lead a company at a time of change,” Weyman said.

Nyberg is in full agreement with TeliaSonera’s board about the future direction of the company, Weyman said.

The announcement came as Telia revealed its second-quarter results, which held few surprises for investors. Turnover rose 5 percent to 23.9 billion kronor, but profits were slightly lower than expected. The company’s pre-tax profits stood at 5.6 billion kronor, compared to 6.1 billion in the same period last year. The number of subscriptions rose to 103.4 million.

Acting CEO and finance director Kim Ignatius said he was pleased with the results, and noted that the company had grown at a record rate in the first six months of the year. Margins had been affected by increased spending on networks and on advertising.

“The competitive situation has become a bit tougher and we want to ensure that we grow in the future as well. That’s why we’ve put a further 200 million kronor into advertising,” he said.

Alisher Usmanov Takes MegaFon in Hand

 The largest deal ever on the Russian telecommunications market is in the making. Businessman Alisher Usmanov is negotiating the purchase of a controlling package in the Telecominvest holding company and the entirety of the Bermuda IPOC fund. Between them, they own 39.3 percent of MegaFon, Russia’s third-largest cellular communications operator. The businessman could thus become the owner of over 30 percent of MegaFon. The value of that package is about $4.5 billion.

Talks are underway with both owners of Telecominvest, that is, Danish businessman Jeffrey Galmond, who owns 58.9 percent of the stock in Telecominvest through the Luxembourgian company First National Holding, and the Swedish-Finnish operator TeliaSonera, which owns 26.1 percent of the holding. Usmanov’s press service confirmed that negotiations are being held with Galmond. Galmond and TeliaSonera declined to comment on negotiations with Usmanov yesterday.

The main asset of Telecominvest, 73.9 percent of which will belong to Usmanov taking into consideration the 15 percent he acquired from OAO CZT in the middle of the month, is 31.3 percent of MegaFon. IPOC owns 8 percent of MegaFon.

MegaFon has long been a source of contention between Galmond and Alfa Group, which acquired 25.1 percent of the company from businessman Leonid Rozhetskin in 2003. IPOC representatives announced immediately after that transaction had been completed that they had two option agreements on the acquisition of that stock. IPOC spent several years unsuccessfully disputing the transaction in courts in Russia and abroad. Analysts note that the sale of the share in MegaFon may be an acknowledgment of the futility of further conflict over the company. Altimo, the telecommunications arm of Alfa Group, also declined to comment on the situation.

Analysts also say that the sellers have chosen a good time for the deal. MegaFon has increased in value by 400-600 percent in the last five years. The company will continue to grow, but the Russian telecommunications market is saturated and that growth will be much slower in the future.

TeliaSonera Names Nyberg Chief Executive; Net Falls

TeliaSonera AB, the Nordic region’s second-largest phone company, named Lars Nyberg chief executive officer to revive growth after profit fell for the first time in two years in the second quarter.

Nyberg is the former CEO of NCR Corp., the world’s largest maker of automated teller machines, and starts on Sept. 3, Stockholm-based TeliaSonera said today. Net income fell 9 percent to 3.83 billion kronor ($569 million) from 4.21 billion kronor a year earlier. Sales rose 5.1 percent to 23.9 billion kronor.

TeliaSonera ousted CEO Anders Igel in June, saying it needs a leader who can spur growth. The company lost about 1 million fixed-line clients so far this year. Before today, TeliaSonera shares were down 4.2 percent in 2007 on concern the company is falling behind rivals including Norway’s Telenor ASA, which has unseated TeliaSonera as the biggest Nordic phone operator.

“He seems to be known as sort of a miracle maker in the U.S.,” said Jari Honko, an analyst at EQbank in Helsinki who rates the stock “reduce.” “It’s very positive for TeliaSonera that he has experience from making major changes in a company.”

Analysts had predicted profit of 3.91 billion kronor, the average estimate of seven analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of TeliaSonera rose as much as 0.8 kronor, or 1.6 percent, to 50.5 kronor, and traded at 50.25 kronorn as of 11:04 a.m. in Stockholm, after dropping as much as 4 percent earlier.

`Visionary Leader’

“TeliaSonera’s board wanted a visionary leader and a team player,” interim CEO and Chief Financial Officer Kim Ignatius said today in an interview. “We’ve found exactly that person.”

Nyberg, 55, is chairman of Sweden’s Micronic Laser Systems AB and IBS AB. He retired as CEO of NCR in 2005 after a decade at the company, where he directed NCR’s spinoff from AT&T Inc. in 1996. He’s also a former senior manager at Royal Philips Electronics NV. Ignatius will act as CEO until Nyberg starts.

“There are some real challenges, don’t fool yourselves, but there are also some real opportunities,” Nyberg said at a press conference at TeliaSonera’s headquarters. “One of the benefits I have is that I’ve been very international in my previous career.”

Von Weymarn had said June 12 that TeliaSonera may need as long as a year to find a new CEO. Ignatius said in the interview that he plans to stay on as CFO under Nyberg.

Igel said in April that he is “concerned” about the margin development at the fixed-line unit and that ongoing measures to ease costs won’t suffice to halt the customer drain. TeliaSonera will likely announce additional measures in the third quarter, Ignatius said today.

More Needed

TeliaSonera had 450 million kronor in costs in the second quarter tied to a writedown of a network in Finland, as well as 330 million kronor in costs for job cuts. The company said today “additional measures” will be needed to reduce costs as more subscribers give up their traditional telephone lines. The company also spent more on marketing at its wireless unit.

The telephone company aims to move more clients to mobile- phone subscriptions. In the second quarter, TeliaSonera lost 58,000 fixed-line customers in Sweden alone, after losing 104,000 in the previous quarter.

Sales at the broadband unit, which includes high-speed Internet and traditional phone services, rose 2.7 percent as Web-access demand outpaced a drop at the fixed-line operations.The company added 370,000 broadband customers in the quarter, and lost 432,000 fixed-telephone lines.

TeliaSonera reiterated today it aims to reach annual sales of 100 billion kronor in 2008. Last year, sales reached about 91 billion kronor. TeliaSonera, the product of a merger between the former phone monopolies of Finland and Sweden, said net income, excluding some gains, will be “somewhat higher.”

“I still expect the company may have to downgrade its forecast in the near future,” EQbank’s Honko said.

Norwegian Challenger

Telenor has sought to take market share from TeliaSonera in Sweden, partly with acquisitions. The Norwegian company bought Vodafone Sweden AB, Glocalnet AB as well as Bredbandsbolaget AB, which handed Telenor a larger slice of the high-speed Internet market. The Fornebu-based company last year overtook TeliaSonera as the biggest Nordic phone company by revenue.

Both Telenor and TeliaSonera have pursued growth outside their home markets as subscriber growth in the Nordic region reaches saturation. Telenor runs operations in countries including Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand. TeliaSonera this month agreed to acquire MCT Corp to gain holdings in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janina Pfalzer in Stockholm at

TEO – aferistai

Žinau, straipsnio antraštė skamba labai jau iššokančiai, bet nežinau kaip kitaip pavadinti TEO marketingo subtilybes.

Prieš porą dienų viena pažįstama užsisakė TEO internetą. Gavo ji SpeedTouch modemą (su bevieliu maršrutizatorium), bet niekaip nesugebėjo jo pajungt, todėl paprašė mano pagalbos.

Prisijungęs prie maršrutizatoriaus išnaršiau jį skersai-išilgai, bet niekaip negalėjau rasti kur reikia suvesti prisijungimo duomenis. Tiesa, radau nuorodą “Setup”, bet ją paspaudus mano rodė klaidą – trūksta kažkokio tai failo.

Teko skambint į TEO. Ir ką jūs manot? Atsiliepusi konsultantė man tiesiai šviesiai pasakė “Taip, ten trūksta vieno failo, todėl neišeis padaryt, kad maršrutizatorius pats jungtųsi prie interneto”. Atsakymas į klausimą iš kur man tą failą gauti buvo dar geresnis: “Išsikvieskite meistrą, kad įdiegtų tą failą arba susiraskite internete”.

Deja internete to failo rasti nepavyko, o meistrui mokėt už atsiprašant nieką irgi nesinori. Taip ir tapo bevielis maršrutizatorius elementariu modemu. Tiesa, vienas kolega blogeris failą man vistik atsiuntė, tik jo įdiegti dar nebandžiau. Jei nepavyks, tai teks pakratyt piniginę. Štai tau kad nori TEO marketingo ypatumai…

TEO zebros…

Šiaip, jau porą savaičių turiu problemų su TEO optimaliu internetu. Siunčiant failus į užsienį belekokia ftp programėle, net windowsine per cmd, po kurio laiko nebeatsidaro užsienio web tinklapiai, nepavyksta prisijungti prie belekokio užsieninio ftp serverio, net prie to pačio, į kurį ką tik siunčiau.

Kaip vartotojas iš savo pusės išbandžiau viską – perinstaliavau OS, išinstaliavau KIS, atjungiau įjungiau windowsų firewall`ą, net iš naujo telefono laidus bute pervedžiojau. Modemas speedtouch`as 585, išbandžiau visus firmwarus. Lygiagrečiai, kai pasireiškia sutrikimas, lietuviški web tinklapiai ir ftp serveriai veikia puikiai. Po kažkiek laiko ryšys su užsieniu atsistato savaime. Skambinau mobiliu telefonu į 1817, kur kurį laiką vyko žaidimas „mes tuoj perkrausime stotelę“, ir po kažkiek laiko internetas su užsieniu atsigaudavo, vėliau nebepadėdavo ir tai. Viena protingesnė konsultantė paprašė papinginti, resolvina, pingas eina, bet, kiek žinau, pingas nenaudoja to protokolo, kuris naudojamas dirbant su http ir ftp. Atvažiavo keli telekominiai masteriai, vienas išbandė viską, pabaigoje įpūtė senesnį firmwarini softą į modemą, ir internetas su užsieniu atsigavo.

Masteris triumfuodamas išvažiavo. Pradėjau vėl ftp siųsti failus, ir po 30 minučių internetas su užsieniu vėl užlūžo. Paskambinau į to mastelio mobilų, pasakė kad jis jau gedimą uždarė. O čia dar siurprizas, pradėjo skambinėti į mano mobilų, kurio numerio nedaviau telekomo konsultantėms, bet iš kurio skambinau į 1817 telekominė gala reklamerė. Paprašiau to nebedaryti, naudoti kontaktams nurodytą telefoną. Pažadėjo to nebedaryti, o štai šiandien gavau dvi kažkokias reklamines žinutes iš NordLB ir pramogų rengimo centro… Atvažiavo po kelių dienų antras masteris, vaikinukas tiesiai šviesiai pasakė, kad niekuo padėti negalės, prieš tai prijungėme jo laptopą, ir jo kampe pasireiškė tie patys ryšio su užsieniu sutrikimai. Paskambino telekomo inžinieriui, patarė naudoti kitą ftp programą failų siuntimui, daryti ilgesnius time outus tarp nusiųstų failų, priminė, kad toks gedimas kaip mano nėra masinis. Priminsiu, čia viskas vyksta su pačia rimčiausia IPT Lietuvoje.

Na, dabar taip ir bendrauju su 1817 konsultantais kas vakarą, kai grįžtu iš darbo. Taip ir siunčiu 5 para į vieną ftp serverį php gallery skriptų rinkinį, nes noriu pakūrti web tinklapį, o štai vakar vienas pažįstamas pasakė, kad būgtai telekomas turi kažkokį labai protingą įrenginį, kuris skiria ką naudoja jų klientas, ar tai ftp, ar tai p2p, na ir laikinai apriboja srautą, jei labai užkrauną užsienio trafiką, ir apie tą įrenginį žino labai ribotas skaičius žmonių…

Pirmadienio vakaras TEO prasidėjo gedimu

Pirmadienį 18.30-19.00 val. daliai AB TEO LT klientų Vilniuje buvo dingęs interneto ryšys.

Bendrovės atstovai kol kas negalėjo patikslinti, kiek klientų paveikė gedimas. Neskelbiamos ir ryšio sutrikimo priežastys.

Telia Internet Services AB, 15 September 2004

The condition Vodafone applied to their broadband contract and gives the company the right to raise the price-fixing or otherwise unilaterally amend the terms of the consumer’s expense, unless there are valid reasons stated in the agreement for this, is unfair. It establishes the Market and has forbidden the company to continue using it.

The condition applied at the connection to the Telia group connectivity from Villa-owners’ Association. Those who joined on the road had to pay and a one-time fee and a monthly fee of 200 crowns.

Of conditions revealed that the subscription was suspended, but not less than twelve months, and that subsequently extended if neither party terminated it. In one of the conditions came Telia may change both the condition and extent of the service three months after the customer is notified thereof, and after a month of minor changes.

With the aid of this condition, Telia announced, during the period during and three months’ notice, customers connected to the monthly fee would be increased by SEK 75 and that they could terminate the agreement after this time by virtue of the amendment would not pursue it.

KO found that the condition was contrary to both current practice and the EC directive on unfair contract and sued the company.

Telia in 2003 transferred its business to TeliaSonera Finland and had previously already changed their condition. Since similar conditions are common in the industry, the Court still may be warranted from a general point of view to appraise the merits of it.
In the EC directive attached indicative list of conditions that may be deemed unfair mention those whose object or effect is to allow the trader to unilaterally alter the terms without a valid reason as specified in the contract.

Vodafone came to their terms the right to unilaterally change the terms, but that they indicated what constituted legitimate grounds. Consumers were given no right to terminate the contract during the tie.

According to court is Telia’s conditions because such conditions as the indicative list should be judged as unfair. A basic contract law principle that contracts should be held. Unilateral changes require “valid reason” for such a condition is not likely to be deemed unreasonable.

There are no circumstances under court to suggest that the present condition would not be deemed unreasonable. On the contrary, unilateral reservation if conditions change during the time the consumer can not cancel the contract at the balance between the parties upset.