Nordic telecommunications group Telia Sonera reported an 18-per-cent drop in its first quarter net profit Thursday, blaming tougher price competition.
The group said net earnings were 4.3 billion kronor (638 million dollars), compared to 5.2 billion kronor year-on-year.
Sales in the quarter were up 3 per cent year-on-year to 25.6 billion kronor.
In its Eurasia division the group said net sales increased 13 per cent, measured in local currencies. The division includes Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Moldova and Nepal.
The group was continuing to adjust its pricing for voice and data services, said chief executive Lars Nyberg, noting that "growth in data revenues compensated for the decline in voice and messaging."
Telia Sonera and its associated companies had 172.4 million customers at the end of the quarter.
Northern Europe's largest telecommunications concern was formed through the December 2002 merger of Sweden's Telia and Finland's Sonera.
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