MIC slips to loss despite strong revenue, subscriber growth

21 Oct 2013

Luxembourg-based international mobile group Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has booked revenues of USD1.29 billion for the three months ended 30 September 2013, an increase of 7.6% year-on-year. However, EBITDA fell by 9.9% to USD459 million, with an EBITDA margin of 35.6% (compared to 42.3% a year earlier), whilst CAPEX grew to USD315 million from USD183 million in the corresponding period of 2012. The group registered a net loss of USD35 million for the period, compared to profits of USD118 million a year earlier, whilst year-to-date earnings reached USD174 million, down from USD421 million twelve months previously. MIC notes that financial costs in Q3 2013 were higher than the previous year, due largely to a USD548 million increase in the group’s gross debt, as it re-leveraged the company and financed acquisitions with debt.

Revenues from the group’s mobile division increased by 1.3% to USD1.047 billion, although its contribution to total revenues slipped to 81.2% from 86.2% due to growth in MIC’s other divisions. Mobile subscriptions increased by 6% y-o-y to 48.92 million, with the South America (13.239 million, +8%) and Africa (20.097 million, +9%) regions seeing the greatest growth. Meanwhile, ARPU decline slowed in all three of the group’s regions, slipping by just USD0.1 quarter-on-quarter to USD10.1 in Central America, whilst ARPU remained static in South America at USD11.6 and increased by USD0.1 to USD4.0 in Africa. Mobile data revenue generating units (RGUs) increased by more than a million q-o-q to 9.021 million, driven by net additions of 531,000 in Africa. Turnover from mobile financial services (MFS) doubled y-o-y to USD22 million, with overall penetration of MFS services reaching 11.2% across the group’s total customer base, although this is skewed somewhat by the group’s performance in Tanzania (43.3% penetration) and Rwanda (33.1%); by comparison, the third and fourth best-performing markets, Paraguay and Chad saw penetration of 29.1% and 8.5% respectively.

MIC’s cable and digital media division saw a 34.1% annual increase in revenues, expanding its contribution to the group’s total turnover to 8.8% from 7.1% a year earlier. Net additions of cable broadband users for the period under review were 16,000, of which Central America accounted for 6,000 and South America 10,000.

Luxembourg, Millicom International Cellular (MIC)