America Movil swung to a loss in the fourth quarter of 2016, as the company suffered from higher financial costs and changes in the value of the Mexican peso.
“The news was dominated by the US election; it was to have a major impact on the Mexican peso and a much more limited one on the other regional currencies,” the company said in a statement.
There were some positives from the move: a “relatively high” revenue increase in Mexican pesos was to a large extent the consequence of the currency being less valuable compared with the currencies of other operations.
At constant exchange rates service revenue increased by 0.7 per cent year-on-year, the best showing in 2016, “led by mobile data revenue that shot up 11.7 per cent”. Fixed data and pay TV revenue also increased.
Mobile voice revenue remained “relatively stable”, whereas fixed voice revenue declines accelerated due to lower interconnection rates and long-distance revenue, mainly in Brazil.
America Movil said several operations, including Mexico, Colombia, US, Puerto Rico and Peru posted the best numbers for service revenue growth in at least four quarters.
The company reported a loss of MXN5.97 billion ($290 million) for the quarter, compared with a prior-year profit of MXN15.66 billion, on revenue of MXN269.34 billion, up 16.9 per cent.
It saw a sharp increase in financing costs during the period (up 189 per cent to MXN28.21 billion), accompanied by increased foreign exchange costs (increasing to MXN16.41 billion from MXN3.13 billion).
On an EBITDA level, earnings increased 2.9 per cent to MXN65.68 billion. However, at constant currency EBITDA was down 8.1 per cent, with the company stating: “as service revenues recover, EBITDA growth will stabilise in relative terms”.
The company ended the year with 280.6 million mobile subscribers, down from 285.5 million in the final quarter of 2015.
In the recent quarter, 3.3 million subscribers were disconnected with the implementation of stricter churn policies leading to cuts in Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Croatia and Macedonia.