Millicom International Cellular (Millicom) has posted Q3 results for the period ended 30 September 2008 in line with analysts’ forecasts, but admitted that revenue growth is slowing as economic conditions deteriorate. The cellco, which has wireless subsidiaries in 16 emerging markets around the world, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the third quarter rose 25% year-on-year to USD369 million while net profit for the period rose 17% to USD161 milion. The company added that it would reduce investment in the coming year, predicting a CAPEX figure of ‘less that USD1.5 billion’ in 2008 and a substantially lower figure again for 2009. CEO Marc Beuls added that the company had decided to put off an early redemption of the USD460 million 10% 2013 Notes, strengthening its balance sheet by reducing short term debt and increasing long-term debt. At the end of September 2008 Millicom had over USD1 billion in cash.
Operationally, Millicom ended the period with 30.59 million subscribers to its subsidiaries, an increase of 53% year-on-year, with 2.1 million new customers added in the third quarter of 2008 alone. In Africa its best performing markets were Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, which reported increases of 100% and 141% in their subscriber bases to 2.08 million and 951,487 respectively. In Central America, the group’s Honduran operations recorded a 71% increase in subscribers to 4.13 million, while in South America Paraguay was the top-performing market with a 36% increase. Meanwhile, in Asia, where Millicom has a presence in three markets, Laos more than doubled its subscriber base to end September with almost 200,000 customers.