Digicel reports 8% rise in revenues to$2.78bn
O’Brien telecoms group to find out next week if it has won Burma mobile licence
Denis O Brien, chairman of Digicel
Ahead of the announcement by the Burmese government next week of the international telecom firms that will be granted licences to set up two new mobile phone networks, Denis O’Brien’s telecoms group Digicel has reported a 8 per cent rise in revenues.
Digicel has spent $31 million on its application for a licence in Burma, which it submitted last month.
In its financial results published yesterday, the company reported a “strong financial performance” for the year ended March 2013, with revenues up 8 per cent to $2.78 billion (€2.10 billion). Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased by 11 per cent to $1.2 billion.
Digicel – which operates in 30 markets throughout the Caribbean, El Salvador and the South Pacific – said its most recent quarter – January to March – contributed $318 million Ebitda.
Revenues from value-added services like web browsing and messaging now accounted for 23 per cent of its overall revenues, the company added.
ICT/business solutions revenues increased by 94 per cent and now represented 3 per cent of services revenues. The company’s subscriber numbers rose by 1 per cent year on year, to 12.9 million across the 30 markets. Digicel said revenue growth was particularly strong in Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname.
In its last full set of results, the group reported annual revenue growth of 14 per cent and a 13 per cent rise in Ebitda.
Digicel group chief executive Colm Delves said he was pleased with the continued growth across its markets and with the customer response to the 4G network rollout.
He said key achievements over the last year included the completion of the integration of the Voila business and network in Haiti and the issuance of S$1.3 billion of Digicel Group Ltd senior notes, due in 2021 at 6 per cent, with proceeds being used to refinance existing notes and for general corporate purposes.
Last month, the Digicel consortium said it would invest almost $9 billion (€6.9 billion) in a mobile phone network in Burma if its bid for one of the two highly sought- after licences in the country was successful.
In its tender, it promises to employ more than 7,000 people by the end of the first year and invest $6.6 billion directly in the country. Mobile penetration in Burma is below 10 per cent among its population of 64 million.
The other shortlisted firms include Qatar Telecom, France Telecom-Orange, Telenor and Viettel Group.