Monday 23 September 2019

Digicel earnings steady

Digicel founder Denis O'Brien
Digicel founder Denis O'Brien
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Digicel is understood to have seen a marginal decline in its leverage to 6.5 times earnings in the second quarter of the financial year.

The Denis O'Brien-owned telecommunications group is currently in talks with bondholders on a deal to swap $3bn (€2.59bn) of outstanding debt for new securities with later maturities.

Digicel does not publish quarterly data, however, in response to a query a spokesman said the business had made progress during the latest quarter.

"The Group made good operational progress in the second quarter following the tariff rebalancing actions undertaken in H2 FY18. As expected, the initial softening of data revenues has given way to stabilization and latterly growth, with Q2 data revenue up 4pc in constant currency over the quarter ended June 30, 2018."

It is understood that the latest quarter saw service revenues of $571m, up 2pc quarter on quarter but down on the same time last year.

Across the group subscriber numbers were up 1pc to 14.1 million in the year to September 30, 2018.

The closely watched ebitda measure showed earnings of $261m in constant currencies - or $251m on a reported basis.

That means earnings are little changed from the same time last year once currencies are adjusted for.

The business also realised net proceeds of $84m on a sale and leaseback of 451 Jamaican towers. That helped lift cash on the balance sheet by a total of $100m to $268m.

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