Chilean telecoms group Entel has reported total revenues of CLP738.8 billion (USD936 million) for the three months ended 31 December 2019, an increase of 46% year-on-year, whilst turnover for the full year grew by 14% to CLP2.20 trillion. EBITDA for the quarter was up 175% compared to Q4 2018 to CLP347.6 billion and, despite increases in net financing costs (up 65% to CLP33.2 billion) and taxes (CLP48.5 billion), net profit leapt to CLP154.4 billion from CLP5.3 billion a year earlier. Similarly, EBITDA for the full year grew by 80% to CLP770.4 billion, leading to a net profit of CLP154.2 billion, compared to a loss of CLP23.6 billion in 2018. Entel attributed the improvement primarily to the sale of tower assets in Chile and Peru and call centre facilities in Chile – jointly accounting for a CLP207.6 billion improvement in revenue – along with organic revenue growth in Peru. Entel notes that in December 2019 it signed a sale and leaseback agreement with American Tower Company (ATC) for 3,242 non-strategic towers across Chile and Peru and closed the first tranche of the transaction with the transfer of 2,364 sites (1,275 in Chile and 1,089 in Peru).
Entel reported a dip in its total mobile subscriber base in Chile to 9.09 million (from 9.24 million in Q3 2019) but pre-paid users accounted for the entirety of the net loss, leading the cellco to record an improvement quarter-on-quarter in monthly ARPU to CLP8,805 from CLP8,678. The operator also counted a total of 5.21 million 4G subscribers in Chile, compared to 5.03 million three months earlier. Meanwhile, its ‘Home’ RGUs (including those linked to both fixed and fixed-wireless accesses) rose to 510,575 from 508,006 at the end of September 2019. Elsewhere, Entel’s Peruvian mobile business continued to record strong growth, with the cellco counting 8.5 million subscribers (up from 8.1 million in Q3 2019), and with ARPU increasing to USD9.14 in Q4 2019 from USD8.43 in the preceding quarter.