Strong mobile data growth, including from a World Cup mobile app, and the take-up of mobile financial services were flagged by Millicom International Cellular as positive factors in its Q2 2014 numbers.
The operator reported a 6.6 per cent rise in Q2 revenue to $1.45 billion alongside pre-tax profits of $310 million, up from $181 million in the same period in 2013.
Among the highlights was the adoption of data services driven by an expanding range of attractively priced handsets and Millicom’s exclusive mobile rights to the FIFA World Cup in Latin America.
Music and entertainment was also a contributor, said the company. Tigo Music is established as the leading digital music provider in Colombia. The Latin American country reported a 27 per cent increase in service revenue.
Millicom is pushing the boundaries as an operator in other ways too. It is one of those working with Facebook on innovative data plans. It mentioned data consumption driven by free access to the social network in Tanzania.
The company also signed up 114,000 new customers to its mobile financial services during the second quarter, driven by Honduras and El Salvador.
The total base for such money services is now over 7.4 million, with an impressive 18 per cent penetration (excluding recently launched Senegal).
There was also strong organic revenue growth from fixed services as Millicom extended its pay TV offering with direct to home (DTH) services in five new markets.
Finally, the company has announced the sale of its 50 per cent stake of Emtel, an operator in Mauritius, to its existing partner Currimjee, as part of a strategy to focus on Latin America and Africa. The price was not disclosed.
Emtel is one of three operators in Mauritius. According to GSMA Intelligence (Q2, 2014), the operator has over 550,000 mobile connections.