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New Tele2 CEO to build on Russian gains

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Monday 07 June 2010 (Dow Jones Newswires) Mats Granryd says major strategic shifts at Tele2 unlikely. Swedish telecom operator Tele2 AB will keep its current strategy largely unchanged, building on its recent shift into foreign markets such as Russia, the company's incoming Chief Executive Officer Mats Granryd said Monday.
The Stockholm-based company has found a winning concept to build on, so any major strategic shifts would be unlikely, Granryd told Dow Jones Newswires.
In search of faster growth beyond its west European home markets, Tele2 has in the last few years expanded swiftly into eastern markets such as Russia and central Asia. In the first quarter of 2010 its sales in Russia increased 33% year-on-year to 2.24 billion Swedish kronor ($278 million), boosted by service roll-outs in new regions, bringing total group sales to SEK9.54 billion.
Following the recent financial downturn, the Russian telecom market strengthened during 2010 and should see healthy growth in the near future, Granryd said.
Demand for mobile broadband is rising in Russia as well as in western markets, and there will be a growing focus on combined offers with attractive prices, such as subscriptions for both telephony, broadband and TV, he said.
Granryd, who will take the helm at Tele2 on Sept. 1, previously headed several regional units at network equipment vendor Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, in markets including northern Europe India and north Africa.
Chief Financial Officer Lars Nilsson became interim CEO after Harri Koponen left the company in February.
Board Chairman Vigo Carlund told Dow Jones Newswires at the time that Tele2 was happy with the company's strategic direction under Koponen and wished to continue focusing on low prices and on its eastern expansion.
At 1155 GMT, shares in Tele2 were up 0.2% at SEK115.10, against a 0.4% drop in the broader market in Stockholm.

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