Losses widen for Digicel as financing costs bite

31 Oct 2014

Irish-owned pan-Caribbean telecoms group Digicel has seen losses for the three months ended 30 June 2014 widen to USD49.3 million from USD10.8 million in the corresponding period of 2013, the Irish Times writes, citing official documents. Higher financing costs were blamed for the widening losses, although the group also suffered from decreasing average revenue per user (ARPU) and the depreciation of the Jamaican dollar. Interest on the group’s debts expanded to USD185 million for its fiscal first quarter, from USD144 million a year earlier, whilst a 10% year-on-year depreciation of the Jamaican dollar against the US dollar negatively impacted Digicel’s top line to the tune of USD9 million. ARPU, meanwhile, fell by 6% y-o-y to USD15.3. Total revenues and EBITDA were flat at USD678 million and USD290 million respectively, despite declining earnings in several of its key markets, with El Salvador (12%), Jamaica (11%) and Haiti (5%) registering the steepest falls in turnover.