Lifting LatAm lockdowns limit Millicom woes - Mobile World Live

Lifting LatAm lockdowns limit Millicom woes

02 NOV 2020

Millicom reported record prepaid and cable customer acquisitions across its Latin America-focused operation in Q3 as Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdown measures eased in some of its key markets, though revenue was still significantly down year-on-year.

The operator group’s CEO Mauricio Ramos (pictured) noted revenue and customer trends in Q3 were “encouraging” compared with previous pandemic-hit quarters, and highlighted the impact of crisis management measures put in place in March.

Among the policies introduced to limit the impact on the company were a cut in operating costs and reduced capex to preserve cash.

Despite the improvements, he added: “Our operating and financial performance still remains below pre-Covid levels, especially in post-paid mobile and B2B, and the countries where we operate continue to face unprecedented health and macroeconomic challenges.”

“As a result, we continue to follow a prudent approach in our planning for the year ahead. That said, we remain bullish about the long term growth potential we see in our markets, and we continue to invest to capture that opportunity.”

Revenue was down 6.5 per cent year-on-year to $1.03 billion, on the impact of the pandemic and currency issues in Colombia and Paraguay. Its comparison figures, though, were inflated by the inclusion of its Panama operations acquired in late August 2019.

Its net loss for the quarter was $51 million, an improvement on the $131 million deficit recorded in the same quarter of 2019.

In Q3, it added 1.6 million prepaid customers, a record for the company, which it noted took its number of users back to pre-pandemic levels.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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