Millicom International Cellular has reported a 30% increase in revenues for the year ended 31 December 2008 to USD3.412 billion. EBITDA climbed by 31% from USD1.119 billion to USD1.486 billion, while net profit fell from USD687 million to USD517 million, principally as a result of two one-off events which incurred a net charge of USD55 million. Chief Executive Marc Beuls said the firm should be able to maintain its fourth-quarter core margin around 45% in 2009. ‘Bar any major surprises, we think that that level should be sustainable going forward for the full year 2009,’ he told Reuters. The company expects capital spending of USD1 billion in 2009, down from USD1.4 billion in 2008.
Total subscribers rose by 38% year-on-year to 32.04 million at the end of December 2008. In Africa the two best performing markets were Tanzania, which reported an annual subscriber growth of 93%, and The Democratic Republic of Congo which recorded a 92% increase to break the million barrier. In Central America, Millicom’s Honduran operations saw its base grow by 45%, with neighbouring Guatemala and El Salvador recording increases of 20% and 14% respectively. In South America, Bolivia and Paraguay both reported annual subscriber growth of 33%, while in Asia Laos was the star performer with an increase of 79%, followed by Sri Lanka (69%).