Business

Friday 26 May 2017

Digicel earnings hit by currency volatility

Usain Bolt strikes his signature pose. Photo: Getty
Usain Bolt strikes his signature pose. Photo: Getty
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Currency volatility hit earnings at Digicel in the first quarter of the year, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report said Digicel’s first quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) has dropped 8pc as a result of currency swings, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Stripping away the effects of currency volatility earnings rose 5pc at the  Denis O'Brien owned company, which provides mobile phone and communications services in 31 countries across islands in the Caribbean and Pacific.

Subscriber numbers are understood to have increased to 13.9 million in the period, up from 13.7 million.

“Digicel doesn’t publish quarterly earnings but we’re very pleased with underlying Q1 performance in local currency. Digicel’s outlook remains positive as we monetise our substantial network investment of recent years,” a Digicel spokesperson said.

That investment includes a diversification into segments including cable TV, broadband, business solutions and cloud services in addition to Digicel's established mobile phone businesses.

Its translated into growth of over 100pc year on year in Cable TV and broadband, its understood. Data growth is up 7pc while the Business Solutions business is up 20pc.

According to Bloomberg Digicel's adjusted net debt ratio to earnings increased in the period to the end of June, as a result of the currency swings, though in real terms the overall debt figure is understood to be lower in the period.

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