In the first three months of this year, revenue of Telia Lietuva increased by 8.2% to EUR 99.7 million compared to the same period of last year. The Company's EBITDA grew by 6.1% to EUR 34.8 million and net profit increased by 4.4% to EUR 13.1 million, while free cash decreased by 3.8% to EUR 22.4 million due to higher investments. Sales of equipment, IT services for business and TV have been growing in double digits.
In the first quarter, revenue of Telia Lietuva from IT services grew by 26.5%, equipment sales increased by 30%, TV services - by 11.6%, and revenue from broadband Internet and billed mobile services grew by 8.7% and 5.2%, respectively.
'The extended lockdown has given a great impulse to the digitization of businesses and organizations, which will successfully benefit from it not only during quarantine, but even more after it ends. Skyrocketing sales of IT and cloud solutions for business, people returning to us for our network quality and booming online sales show very clear trend that we continue to remain relevant to our customers', says Dan Stromberg, CEO of Telia Lietuva.
The number of mobile customers grew by 2.7% in the first quarter of the year to almost 1.4 million users, the number of customers of smart TV increased by 2.8% to 253 thousand, and the number of fiber-optic Internet users - by 1.5% to 299 thousand. During the same period, the number of users of Telia1, a converged mobile and home services offer, reached 80 thousand.
According to Dan Stromberg, the pandemic revealed the importance of the quality of networks and speed, this trend will remain in the future, so the demand for the Telia services will continue to grow. 'In response to increased demand for IT solutions, we invested EUR 2 million expanding and modernizing one of our data centers in Vilnius. Moreover, we launched one of the largest investment projects of recent years - we will install about 2 thousand next generation Ericsson mobile base stations throughout Lithuania in three years. In the first quarter alone, we invested more than EUR 12 million, and this is just the beginning. We allocate more than 10% of our revenue amount to investments to make Lithuania an even more digital country.'
According to the data of measurements of mobile Internet speed performed by the Lithuanian Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) in the first quarter of 2021, the average data download speed in Telia's 4G network was 93.5 Mbps, while speed in the networks of other operators was 54.6 Mbps and 43 Mbps, respectively.
Better control of operating costs and EUR 1.2 million in gain from the sale of Telia's office building in Kaunas significantly contributed to positive results of the first quarter.
The Company's Board proposed to the General Meeting of shareholders scheduled to take place next week to allocate record high dividends of EUR 0.10 per share or a total of EUR 58.3 million. The share price of Telia Lietuva has risen by 11.8% since the beginning of the year till the end the first quarter, and the Company's market capitalization compared to the same period last year has increased by 65.9% to almost EUR 1.2 billion as of 31 March.
Telia Lietuva continued its sustainability agenda. According to Sustainable Brand Index Telia Lietuva is number one operator in Lithuania. Telia Lietuva was also named the Best Employer of 2020 among large corporations at the National Responsible Business Awards.