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Telia warns of $2 billion impairment in Q4 as interest rates rise

A flag flutters at the Telia offices in Helsinki

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish telecom operator Telia Company warned on Friday its fourth-quarter results would be hit by non-cash impairment charges due mainly to increased cost of capital.

The Swedish group, which is due to publish its full quarterly earnings report on Jan. 26, said in a statement impairments across its operations would total 19.8 billion crowns ($1.93 billion).

It said the bulk of costs related to goodwill writedowns at its Finland and Norway units, with charges of 9.5 billion crowns and 8.5 billion, respectively, reflecting slowing economies and higher market rates.

The remaining charges relate to its Danish and Latvian units, the C More pay TV business, and a move to dismantle Telia's copper network in Sweden.

Shares in Telia, which is in the midst of a years-long cost cutting programme, were down 1.4% in mid-day trade.

Analysts before the news of the charge had on average expected Telia to report a fourth-quarter pretax profit of 1.7 billion crowns, according to Refinitiv SmartEstimate.

($1 = 10.2836 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Supantha MukherjeeEditing by Tomasz Janowski)