Currency weakness drags down Digicel top line

24 Feb 2017

Pan-Caribbean telecoms group Digicel has registered a 6% decline in turnover for the three months ended 31 December 2016, with currency weakness across several of its main markets blamed for the decline, the Irish Times writes, citing unnamed sources. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements, revenue was flat compared to the same period last year, at USD653 million whilst EBITDA rose 1% year-on-year to USD285 million. Factoring in forex movements, however, both figures were reportedly down y-o-y, with the falling value of the Jamaican dollar and Haitian gourde against the US dollar highlighted as the main contributing factors for the slump. Earlier this week, the group revealed plans to cut almost a quarter of its workforce over the next 18 months as part of efforts to reduce its debt burden of more than USD6 billion. The cost-cutting measures also include a reorganisation of its business around four regional hubs, and a new infrastructure upgrade deal with Chinese vendor ZTE, which Digicel expects will allow it to steadily cut its CAPEX costs over the coming years. The group’s CAPEX reached around USD600 million for the year to end-March 2016, and is expected to fall to USD450 million for the current financial year.

Jamaica, Digicel Group