MIC keeps eyes on USD9bn prize

25 Sep 2014

Luxembourg-based group Millicom International Cellular (MIC), which offers mobile, broadband and online services throughout Latin America and Africa, has confirmed its target of achieving revenues of USD9 billion in 2017. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MIC unveiled a new strategy for growth in March 2013, transforming the company to a ‘digital lifestyle company’ with a focus on five ‘pillars’ – mobile data, mobile financial services (MFS), online services, cost and CAPEX optimisation, and cable broadband digital media. In a press release yesterday, the group reiterated its intention of reaching annual turnover of USD9 billion by 2017, noting that it has achieved annual growth of 9% in local currency, with its mobile business expanding by 6%, cable by 16% and MFS by 41%. Further, MIC added that 23% of its new mobile customers are using data services compared to 17% a year ago. Over the last twelve months, MIC has launched direct-to-home (DTH) satellite services in five countries and expanded its MFS services to eleven markets. In the same period the group has also launched initiatives to offer affordable entry-level smartphones, bundle fixed and mobile services and offer free data for Facebook access. Elsewhere, the group has completed the merger of its Tigo Colombia unit with fixed network operator Une-EPM and expects the combined operation to contribute revenues of USD550 million, with EBITDA of around USD120 million before integration costs.

Commenting on the group’s lofty target, Hans-Holger Albrecht, Millicom’s CEO and president noted: ‘The goals we set out are clear and ambitious. We began to convert the company into a digital lifestyle provider last year and now, with talented global and local teams, we are committed to the rapid implementation of this plan. So Millicom’s growth and transformation is well on track and we look forward with confidence to continued progress in the coming years.’ However, MIC highlighted a number of potential hurdles to achieving its target, including competitive pricing, foreign exchange fluctuations and regulatory pressure.