OSLO, July 17 (Reuters) - Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor raised its outlook for 2017 earnings margins on Monday and posted second-quarter operating results above forecasts as it squeezed more margins from all its divisions.
The company now expects earnings margins of 38-39 percent in 2017, against a previous guidance for 37 percent.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 12.7 billion crowns ($1.55 billion) from 11.38 billion crowns a year ago, while analysts in a Reuters poll on average had expected a result of 11.72 billion crowns.
"We were able to reduce our costs by 0.6 billion crowns and we saw margin expansion in all our business units," the firm said in a statement.
"The robustness of our Norwegian operation, the strong revenue growth in Bangladesh and the return to growth in Thailand were amongst the highlights for the quarter."
Telenor also launched a buyback programme for up to 2 percent of registered shares, representing up to 30 million shares.
Based on the closing price of the share on Friday, the buyback programme will mean a return of 4.3 billion crowns to shareholders, Telenor said.
The Norwegian state's stake in Telenor, worth 53.97 percent, will remain unchanged, said the firm.
$1 = 8.1891 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath