America Movil reported a second consecutive quarter of heavy losses, attributed to the weakness of the Mexican Peso and aftermath of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
During Q4 2017 the Mexico-headquartered group recorded a net loss of MXN11.3 billion ($608 million), a significant increase on the MXN6 billion loss it recorded in Q4 2016. It was the company’s second successive quarterly loss after taking a MXN9.5 billion hit in Q3.
The company attributed the Q4 decline largely to the weakness of the Mexican Peso against the US dollar and Euro. It added the currency issue impacted both revenue and its financing costs.
Earnings were also impacted by the aftermath of hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. America Movil is the second-largest operator on the island with over 1 million wireless connections, GSMA intelligence estimates for Q4 showed. The operator also provides fixed connectivity in the market.
Its Q4 revenue was down 16 per cent year-on-year in Puerto Rico, attributed to a continued lack of electrical power across the island hampering its operation.
Despite outside influences hitting its figures, the company was bullish on its prospects in Latin American markets and its interests in Europe.
In its earnings statement, the company pointed to underlying growth with post paid wireless subscribers up 6.4 per cent year-on-year across its markets and service revenue up 1.4 per cent when adjusted to consistent exchange rates.
Despite losses in Q3 and Q4, America Movil posted a full year net profit of MXN29.3 billion, compared with MXN8.7 billion in 2016.
The company said the year had ended: “on a strong note, with inflation seemingly well contained and economic growth speeding up in most of the world, both in developed and in emerging countries.”
“With commodity prices firming up, several Latin American countries found new stimulus for expansion, particularly in Brazil that is recovering from a long and protracted recession. In Central and Eastern Europe the region stood to benefit from the overall economic recovery in Western Europe that has been remarkably strong in bordering countries such as Germany and Austria.”