America Movil reported improved results for the fourth quarter of 2013, as mobile data contributed significantly to service revenue.
Mobile data revenue increased 18.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2012 and accounted for 23.8 per cent of total service revenue of MXN178.2 billion ($13.4 billion). Wireless voice was the largest contributor to service revenue, accounting for 38.8 per cent of the total.
The Latin American operator group reported Q4 revenue of MXN204 billion, up 3.1 per cent year-on-year, and a net profit of MXN17.2 billion, a 15.7 per cent improvement on the same period in 2012.
The group added 4.8 million wireless customers during the period, including 1.3 million for its Claro operations in Brazil, 41 per cent of the total additions. It also added one million subscribers in Mexico, 616,000 in the US and 614,000 in Colombia.
These additions took the group’s total wireless subscriber base to 270 million. In relative terms the company’s Central American operations grew at the fastest rate.
Mexico made up the largest proportion of mobile subscribers with its 73.5 million accounting for 27.2 per cent of the total. Brazil was close behind with 68.7 million subscribers, 25.5 per cent of the total.
Wireless revenue in Mexico increased 4.2 per cent year-on-year to reach MXN47.4 billion. Despite running Mexico close on subscriber numbers, Brazil recorded less than half the wireless revenue, with MXN20.3 billion, a 12.1 per cent increase.
The company highlighted its Q4 EBITDA of MXN63.5 billion, “its strongest showing in several quarters” and representing a margin of 31.1 per cent of revenue.
There was a comprehensive financing charge of MXN17.8 billion recorded against the period, including an MXN10.2 billion foreign exchange loss. Net debt increased to MXN442 billion, having been MXN372 billion a year earlier.
During the quarter, the company’s Tracfone Wireless subsidiary completed the acquisition of US MVNO Start Wireless Group, including 1.4 million customers.
America Movil is currently subject to an investigation from the newly-formed Mexican telecoms regulator (the IFT) into whether it has a dominant position in the Mexican market. Its Telcel mobile division currently has a market share of more than 70 per cent.
In separate news, America Movil was reported to have reduced its stake in KPN, after dropping its acquisition bid for the Dutch operator group in October.
In its annual report, America Movil said it held a 27.1 per cent stake in KPN, compared to the 29.7 per cent it held in August, according to Bloomberg data.