February 5, 2015 / 9:35 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-TDC's Q4, 2015 outlook weaker than expected, shares down

(Adds CFO, analyst, share price, background)

COPENHAGEN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Fourth quarter earnings and 2015 guidance missed expectations at TDC, Denmark’s leading telecom operator, as it faced strong pricing competition in most of its business areas.

The company reported core underlying profit (EBITDA) of 2.49 billion Danish crowns ($381 million) in the fourth quarter, almost the same as a year ago but below the 2.56 billion expected in a Reuters survey.

TDC shares fell 4.4 percent at 47.51 crowns at 0850 GMT, underperforming a 0.2 percent rise in the Danish benchmark index OMXC20CAP.

TDC lost 21,000 mobile phone customers in Denmark in the fourth quarter as subscribers sought out lower prices rather than the additional services that TDC is offering instead.

“We are not satisfied with customer development in 2014,” Chief Financial Officer Pernille Erenbjerg said.

She said a nationwide rollout of TDC’s 4G network, which makes it easier to stream movies and music on mobile phones, should help in 2015.

“They are pressured on their earnings in most of their business areas,” analyst Morten Imsgard from Sydbank said.

TDC said it expected its 2015 EBITDA at around the same level as in 2014 when it was 9.8 billion crowns.

“The guidance for 2015 is weak. They are challenged in the mobile phone segment as they are focused on content whereas the customers are looking at the price,” Imsgard said.

In December TDC’s two main competitors Norway’s Telenor and Sweden’s TeliaSonera agreed to combine their Danish mobile businesses into a 50-50 joint venture.

TDC shares gained on the news at the time as investors expected less competition and a shift away from price cuts and cheap offers as a result.

$1 = 6.5445 Danish crowns Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Sabina Zawadzki and Vincent Baby

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