Millicom looks to Africa for growth

Luxemburg’s Millicom International’s Q3 revenues have risen by 7% to €572 million, yet net profit has dropped to €95.6 million, down from €107 million a year ago.

Despite maintaining growth rates in the quarter CEO Mikael Grahne, admitted that “there are no signs of economic recovery as yet in our markets.”

He added however, “we are gaining market share while improving margins and cash flow. We remain very excited about the future, with penetration growth in Africa, and mobile broadband in all our markets, providing us with attractive long term growth potential.”

During the quarter the subscriber base was up 20% YoY, bringing total customers to 31.9 million.

Grahne said that the lower rate of customer intake reflected the high level of voice penetration in Central America.

“Margins continue to be strong, reflecting excellent momentum in value-added services, a rigorous approach to cost control, and improving critical mass in Africa, where the ebitda margin is up nearly four percentage points year-on-year.”

Following a progressive exit from Asia the company now has around €66 million in cash from asset disposals and is holding a review to consider whether to make fresh acquisitions or return it to shareholders. He results of the review will be announced in February.

Millicom last week announced the sale of its last Asian asset, Sri Lankan carrier Tigo, to Etisalat for €103 million. Earlier this year it sold its share of its Cambodian business to its local partner, the Royal Group, and its stake in Millicom Lao to Russia’s Vimpelcom.