US-based operator NII Holdings, which provides wireless services under the Nextel brand in a number of Latin American markets, has reported consolidated operating revenues of USD1.259 billion for the second quarter of 2013, down 11.9% from USD1.409 billion in the year-ago period. Service and other revenues accounted for USD1.214 billion of the total, compared to USD1.342 billion in the second quarter of 2012. Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA), which excludes the impact of non-cash asset impairment and restructuring charges, decreased 55% year-on-year to USD110.0 million in the three months ended 30 June 2013. NII said the decrease in OIBDA was primarily driven by incremental investments related to the company’s deployment of its planned next generation networks (NGNs), costs to migrate customers to the firm’s 3G network in Mexico, weaker average foreign currency exchange rates, and lower average revenue per user (ARPU) on a local currency basis. The company’s consolidated net loss widened from USD103.5 million in Q2 2012 to USD396.4 million twelve months later.
NII added 100,500 net subscribers in the three-month period, bringing its total customer base to 9.914 million at 30 June 2013, an increase of 1.5% from 9.763 million a year earlier (figures exclude Nextel Peru, which was sold to Chile’s Entel earlier this year). Subscribers in Brazil totalled 3.879 million, down from 4.23 million at mid-2012, while customers of Nextel Mexico and Nextel Argentina grew 3% and 18% to 3.939 million and 1.887 million, respectively. ‘We’re making progress on a number of initiatives that are key to our goal of improving the fundamentals of our business; however, we continue to experience significant challenges, including the impact of Sprint’s shutdown of its iDEN network in the US on our operations in Mexico,’ said Steve Shindler, NII Holdings’ CEO. ‘While we expect the situation in Mexico will continue to negatively impact our results in the second half of the year, we are working to address these challenges by completing and expanding the coverage of our NGNs, as well as increasing our marketing efforts to enhance consumer awareness of the new products and services they support. The rigor and discipline that we have added to our NGN deployment process is enabling us to meet the timeline we set for building our new networks, as evidenced by the recent launch of wireless broadband services in our Sao Paulo market that will enhance our competitive position in Brazil.’