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Norway's Telenor says Fourth-Quarter Profit Quintuples

Norway's Telenor ASA said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit quintupled from the same time last year as it added new customers in emerging markets, particularly in eastern Europe.

The Forbeu, Norway-based wireless operator said it earned 6.18 billion kroner ($999 million) in the fourth quarter, compared with 1.70 billion kroner a year ago. That was better than the 5.91 billion kroner ($956 million) analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted.

Sales rose 30 percent to 24.5 billion kroner ($3.95 billion) in the quarter compared with 18.8 billion kroner a year ago. The company, which counts some 100 million subscribers, said it expected sales to growth in 2007 by 15% to 20%.

"Our consistent strategy of investing in emerging markets combined with a strengthened position in the Nordic markets has led to such strong results," Chief Executive Officer Jon Baksaas said as the company announced its results at the 3GSM Wireless conference. "We expect the high underlying growth to continue in 2007."

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