Millicom International Cellular (MIC), which offers mobile services throughout Africa and mobile and cable broadband in Latin America under the Tigo and Tigo Star banners, has booked a 5.4% increase in annual turnover, despite a 9.8% decline in fourth quarter revenue and declining turnover from mobile services. The group reported revenue of USD6.730 billion for the year ended 31 December 2015, up from USD6.386 billion in the previous year, although turnover for Q4 slumped to USD1.677 billion from USD1.860 billion a year earlier. The strong revenue growth was driven by expansion in the cable segment, which grew to USD1.592 billion from USD970 million in 2014, whilst turnover from the mobile financial services (MFS) and ‘Other’ (including device sales and e-commerce businesses) segments also increased, by 10.6% and 11.8% to USD125 million and USD626 million respectively. In the mobile space, however, MIC booked revenue of USD4.388 billion, down from USD4.743 billion, of which data services accounted for USD1.127 billion (up from USD912 million in 2014).
MIC noted that adverse currency movements strongly impacted top line growth, with reported revenue USD925 million lower than it would have been based on 2014 currency rates. Operating expenses for the year were also up 3.8% year-on-year to USD2.698 billion due to the first full year consolidation of UNE in Colombia, as well as USD69 million of one-off items (compared to USD16 million in 2014). EBITDA, meanwhile, was up 4.1% y-o-y to USD2.178 billion, whilst EBITDA margin dipped slightly from 32.8% to 32.4%. MIC booked a net loss of USD559 million for the year, reversing a net profit of USD2.643 billion in 2014, although this was impacted by a USD391 million non-cash loss on deconsolidation of Guatemala and Honduras in Q4 2015, after gains of USD2.25 billion from their consolidation in 2014.
In terms of subscribers, MIC counted 62.587 million mobile users at end-2015, up from 56.277 million twelve months earlier, of which 18.448 million were data users, compared to 15.258 million at end-2014. Its cable business, meanwhile, claimed 5.393 million revenue generating units (RGUs) at that date, up from 5.090 million y-o-y.