MIC books strong Q3 2014 despite flagging CAM region

22 Oct 2014

Millicom International Cellular (MIC) has registered strong organic revenue and profit growth for Q3 2014, buoyed further by the group’s merger of its Colombian unit with local operator Une-EPM. All four of MIC’s main operating divisions – Mobile, Cable, Mobile Financial Services (MFS) and ‘Other’ (including Online, equipment sales) – saw revenue growth, although there was some fluctuations on a regional basis, with the Central America (CAM) segment in particular falling behind. Mobile revenues in that region dipped by 1.2% year-on-year to USD461 million and its wireless customer base shrank by 45,000 compared to Q2 2014, due primarily to falling service revenues in Panama (-9.2%) and a combination of competitive pressures and a clean-up of its user base in Guatemala. Nevertheless group revenue expanded by 7.5% year-on-year to USD1.488 billion excluding the contribution of Une, which added turnover of USD186 million. Whilst MIC owns a 50% minus one share stake in Une, the group fully consolidates the Colombian firm. EBITDA, excluding Une, increased to USD497 million (USD549 million including Une) from USD487 million in the year-ago period. Operating and financial expenses, as well as depreciation and amortisation also increased y-o-y, however, due to the costs incurred by the closure of the Une deal, the impact of the full consolidation of its Guatemalan unit and higher corporate costs. Despite these increases, net profits grew to USD165 million for the period, including USD5 million contributed by Une, reversing net losses of USD37 million in Q3 2013.