CEO Letter Q3 2020
During the short time since I assumed my role as Tele2 CEO, I have looked at the business with fresh eyes. I have dived deep into specifics of crucial areas but always tried to keep the big picture on top of my mind. It is safe to say that Tele2 is a company full of great talents, potential and value, but not without challenges.
Our main growth drivers are the Sweden Consumer segment and the Baltic markets. In Sweden, we have continued to increase the number of customers on FMC benefits but still have much potential to realize. We have successfully executed on our more-for-more strategy in broadband and mobile
postpaid, while maneuvering through an unpredictable pandemic. In the Baltics, we see strong operational momentum and growth, with continued progress of our mobile-centric convergence strategy. We have a strong position to build on, but we may also look into different opportunities to add fixed connectivity to our Baltic portfolio.
It is clear that our industry is facing challenges in the business segment in Sweden. Despite the fact that we operators provide services that are increasingly crucial to both society and businesses, the business segment is unfortunately characterized by complex solutions with insufficient profitability. Altering this will take time, but by optimizing our own Sweden Business segment for profitability, we will improve our ability to address the competitive market conditions going forward. Concerning consumer TV, the industry is in the middle of a period of radical change, with domestic fights for rights to Swedish content and sports, while international players launch one play service after another. However, Tele2 has a great position to create value and secure profitability by leveraging our potential as an innovative aggregator and distributor, while simultaneously strengthening our combined offerings.
Tele2 has a very strong foundation with an impressively resilient business model that continues to produce strong cash flow quarter after quarter. We have a very solid infrastructure position in Sweden, with a market leading fixed network and an efficient shared mobile network – a successful model that we will soon implement in the Baltics as well. Our infrastructure position will strengthen even further as we roll out 5G and the next generation fixed networks, but we should also keep an open mindset and look for other opportunities to improve reliability and customer experience, as well as realizing financial value.
Tele2’s position in the Netherlands continues to create significant value. Since the merger with T-Mobile in Q1 2019 we have seen impressive synergy realization, and currently Tele2 customers are being transferred to T-Mobile’s network. In Q3 2020, spectrum to be used for the 5G rollout has been secured, creating a good foundation to further develop the company, and I look forward to follow the progress in this market.
Last but not least, Tele2 has managed to realize an impressive amount of synergies and cost savings in a short time since the merger with Com Hem, and we have an ambitious transformation program in place to achieve additional opex reductions of at least SEK 1 billion over three years. Furthermore, we will need to undertake extensive and crucial transitions to tackle the challenges I mentioned above.
At my first company-wide speech, I was clear with the fact that I believe in evolution, not revolution. Tele2 has a solid position and plan to build on, but I also see room for operational improvement for further value creation that I will address and come back to in future reports. Overall, I am very impressed by my new colleagues at Tele2 and really appreciate the resolute way in which they have handled the pandemic. I am very excited to be here and will certainly enjoy leading Tele2 onwards.
President and Group CEO