When we look back on 2017 it seems fair to say that the world is changing faster than ever. Telia Company is moving quickly too, daring to innovate in order to sustainably improve society and meet new customer needs. We connect the unconnected, the smallest devices to the biggest enterprises, from care workers to the car, from individual homes to hospitals. We are able to do this because we have proven to our customers that they can trust Telia Company.
We are building Telia Company even stronger for the future. During the past year we have focused on strengthening our core business through acquiring strategic assets such as Phonero and Nebula and continued to build out fiber and 4G throughout the Nordics and Baltics. At the same time, we have been able to show that our presence in Eurasia has decreased through the sale of stakes in Tcell, MegaFon and Turkcell. This lays the foundations for a strong long-term position in our home markets.
Telia Company is transforming to future-proof our superior networks. In a world with increased threats of hacking and even cyber warfare, resilience in networks is of increased importance to keep customers, and the societies we live in, secure. Coupled with the advent of ambiguous connections we are cementing our position as the preferred choice of customers looking for reliability, quality and value. We pride ourselves in delivering best-in-class services to our customers. This includes leading the transition into future technology and enhancing the core by ensuring that our customers are the first with the latest.
We are also improving the competitiveness of all our operations through a cost reduction program. This will provide increased cash flows which will ensure that Telia Company can deliver growing returns to our shareholders at the same time as we invest in future technology.
Through the global settlement with the US Department of Justice and others earlier this autumn the aftermaths relating to the transactions in Uzbekistan could finally come to a close. During this challenging process Telia Company has come to conclusions and learnings that allow us today to work and operate responsibly and with a compliance program in the fore front. We are fully committed to the UN’s Global Compact principles and global sustainability goals. Through value-driven leadership, sustainability and responsibility are now fundamental corner stones in everything we do. Telia Company today is a purpose driven and values-oriented company.
We have left another eventful year behind us and on behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to direct a heartfelt thank you to all our colleagues for their hard and committed work and I would also direct a heartfelt thank you to our shareholders for their confidence in us to lead Telia Company.
We have made a choice. Throughout Telia Company, we’re on a mission to create a New Generation Telco. We don’t shy away from being at the front of the pack. We need to be there.
Stockholm, March 7, 2018
Chair of the Board