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Telia to fire 600 Swedish staff after profit drop

Published torsdag 20 juli kl 10.40
Business reporter: It's going much better in the rest of Scandinavia
(2:53 min)
Telia blamed the losses on delays to its fiber-optic roll.out led to the
Telia blamed the losses on delays to its fiber-optic roll.out led to the Credit: Telia

Swedish telecommunications giant Telia has announced plans to fire 600 staff in Sweden after it was hit by unexpected costs linked to a delay in its fiber-optic roll-out.

Telia's chief executive Johan Dennelind told Swedish Radio that some of the 600 redundancies were already planned under the company's new strategic plan, but that some "would need to be somewhat accelerated". 

He estimated that 600 people would lose their jobs, about half of whom were on staff, and half of whom were hired as consultants.

Globally, the company expects to make 850 redundancies. 

The expansion of Sweden's national fiber-optic network has been held back by problems getting staff and equipment and delays in receiving permits. 

Telia's profits more than halved in the second quarter to 1,359 million SEK, down from 3,699 million SEK in the same period last year. According to Reuters, analysts had predicted profits of 2,519 million SEK.

In the interview, Dennelind downplayed the profit fall.

"Sweden has had it a little tough this quarter," he said. "But there's no 'cow on the ice':  We 're sticking to our forecast for the year, and cash flow is looking good for the group as a whole." 

The Swedish saying "no cow on the ice" rougly translates as "there's no crisis".

Dennelind told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that there was "absolutely no connection" between the profit fall and the 3.2 billion SEK write-down the company announced last week following the sale of its shares in Turkish operator Turkcell and its decision to pull out of Uzbekistan.

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