March 26, 2020 / 12:56 PM / 7 days ago

UPDATE 1-Telia says won't hit 2020 outlook due to coronavirus

* Telia says coronvirus outbreak hitting TV & Media unit

* Says 2020 outlook no longer within reach

* Cuts dividend proposal

* Shares drop 7% (Adds background, detail, comments)

STOCKHOLM, March 26 (Reuters) - Swedish telecom operator Telia Company said on Thursday it no longer expected to reach its 2020 forecast for core earnings and cashflow due to effects from the coronavirus outbreak hitting its TV & Media unit.

Telia, which beefed up its TV & Media business last year with the purchase of Bonnier Broadcasting, parent of Sweden’s biggest commercial channel TV4, also said its board had decided to cut its dividend proposal to 1.80 crowns per share from 2.45 crowns previously.

Telia shares fell by 7.0% at 1245 GMT following the news.

“The effects from the pandemic will have a material negative financial impact primarily on the TV & Media unit,” acting CEO Christian Luiga said in a statement, adding the impact on its other businesses were so far limited.

“Despite an increased TV consumption...Telia Company has witnessed a rapid decline in the advertising revenues.”

The company also said that it was seeing the widespread cancellations of sporting events weighing on pay-TV revenues.

Telia said it currently assumed full-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for TV & Media to land between break-even and a 500 million profit, compared with 1.5 billion crowns ($149 million) in 2019.

The company, which had previously forecast group adjusted EBITDA to grow 2-5% in 2020 at stable currencies, said it was too early to issue an updated outlook, but that it would do so as soon as possible provided the current high uncertainty.

$1 = 10.0429 Swedish crowns Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Johan Ahlander

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