Earnings rise 2% at mobile carrier Digicel

Denis O’Brien’s Caribbean business hit by two hurricanes in last three months

 Denis O’Brien, whose Digicel mobile carrier business saw first-half earnings rise. Photograph: Swoan Parker / Reuters

Denis O’Brien, whose Digicel mobile carrier business saw first-half earnings rise. Photograph: Swoan Parker / Reuters

 

Digicel, the mobile carrier company controlled by billionaire Denis O’Brien, saw first-half earnings rise, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Earnings rose 2 per cent from the year-earlier period during the first six months of the company’s financial year, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the details were not yet public.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were about $253 million in the second quarter, in line with the year-earlier performance, according to the person.

Excluding the impact of two hurricanes, Ebitda would have risen about 2 per cent.

Mr O’Brien founded Digicel in 2001 and turned it into a mobile-phone empire with customers spread from El Salvador to Vanuatu, partly on the back of issuing high-yield debt. Earlier this year, the company said it would shed as many as 1,500 workers, 18 months after shelving a share sale.

Revenue in the second quarter dropped about 3 per cent from the year-earlier period, as the company cut out lower margin wholesale business, according to the person. – Bloomberg