Mexican-based mobile group América Móvil said it expects its customer base to reach 24 million in 2006, up from earlier estimates of 22 million, but denied reports that it planned to boost the figure by acquiring Millicom International Cellular (MIC). The company used its first quarter conference call to dampen speculation that it was preparing a bid for Luxembourg-based MIC, which has more than nine million subscribers in 16 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. ‘We are not interested in acquiring Millicom,’ Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia Moreno told analysts. China Mobile has emerged as the leading suitor of MIC.
América Móvil said its first quarter net profit doubled year-on-year, driven by strong sales. In the three months to 31 March 2006 it added 7.3 million new mobile subscribers as its client base across Latin America rose to 100 million. Net profit was MXN9.946 billion (USD912 million), up 114% and far exceeding market expectations, on the back of a 26.4% rise in revenues to MXN50.724 billion. EBITDA was up 41% to MXN18.349 billion. Colombia continued to be América Móvil’s strongest performing market, with its client base up 126% to nearly 16 million customers, accounting for more than half of all mobile users in the country.