Brazil’s leading mobile operator by subscribers Vivo Participacoes reported net losses of BRL99.4 million (USD57.8 million) in 2007, compared with a BRL16.3 million net profit in 2006, the cellco said in a statement. Vivo said full-year revenues climbed 14.2% year-on-year to BRL12.5 billion, although operating costs were also up 12.2% at BRL9.36 billion. The group’s EBITDA climbed 20.7% over the twelve-month period to BRL3.13 billion while Vivo’s EBITDA margin of 25.1% beat the 23.7% figure reported in fiscal 2006. Net debt was BRL2.58 billion, down 27.4% y-o-y.
Vivo closed out 2007 with 33.484 million mobile customers, thanks to net additions of 2.164 million customers in the fourth quarter. The cellco said its market share in its area of operation was 36.7%, while for Brazil as a whole, the operator’s market share was 27.7%. ‘In 2006, we lost 750,000 customers due to a cleaning up of our customer base and in 2007 we added 4.4 million new clients and ended the year as the number one telecommunications company in the southern hemisphere,’ Vivo CEO Roberto Lima said in a conference call. Lima also confirmed earlier reports that Vivo has agreed to sell Amazonia Celular to rival operator Oi (formerly Telemar) to help accelerate Vivo’s acquisition of Telemig Celular and expand coverage in Minas Gerais state. Vivo also said it purchased 3G mobile licences in December last year, paying BRL1.14 billion for all the Band J lots on offer.