Emerging market operator Millicom reached ten million customers for its mobile financial services, although the milestone only translated into $31 million revenue, according to its Q2 2015 results.
However, CEO Mauricio Ramos (pictured) talked up mobile money’s wider role within the group. He said it played a role in its Digital Lifestyle strategy, also made up of mobile services and cable television.
“For instance, mobile financial services (MFS) is another key component of our Digital Lifestyle offer, strengthening customer loyalty whilst supporting wider financial inclusion targets.”
However, there are no supporting figures to prove the statement. Certainly, mobile money is not clocking up enormous revenue for Millicom, even though it grew by 38 per cent (to $31 million) during the quarter. Millicom’s total revenue was $1.7 billion.
Over half of the group’s MFS revenue comes from Africa ($21 million) followed by South America ($8 million) and Central America ($2 million).
MFS added 591,000 users in Q2, with the main contributors being Tanzania, DRC and Ghana. Year-on-year, the operator added nearly 570,000 new users in Africa, driven by recent interoperability deals with rival money services in Tanzania and returns provided on cash balances in Tanzania and Rwanda, proving popular with users.
However, group-wide average ARPU for MFS was $1.03, down 2 per cent in local currency. MFS-based transactions during the quarter amounted to $2.7 billion, an increase of 23 per cent (excluding self top-up).
Overall, group revenue grew by 18 per cent to $1.7 billion, although once currency fluctuations and last year’s acquisition of Colombian cable operator UNE is excluded, then revenue fell by 1.3 per cent.
The company reported a $99 million loss for the three months, compared to a net profit of $186 million a year earlier.