Sunday 15 September 2019

O'Brien's Digicel sees 1pc drop in revenues

Digicel boss Denis O'Brien. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Digicel boss Denis O'Brien. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

Katherine Doherty and Dara Doyle

Billionaire Denis O'Brien's Digicel reported revenue fell 1pc year-on-year to $539m (€485m) in the first quarter of 2019, with foreign exchange movements behind most of the decline, according to a person familiar with the results.

The company's underlying total revenues rose 5pc over 12 months, underlying service revenue was up 4pc at the mobile operator.

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Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped 2pc to $244m.

Net debt to Ebitda was 7.3 times and was said to have peaked during the quarter.

Total subscriber numbers fell 5.5pc year-on-year, which was linked to regulatory requirements in Papua New Guinea, the person said.

A representative for Digicel declined to comment and the company is to hold an earnings conference later today.

Digicel was last month reported to have sounded out Australian investment funds about a potential listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The Australian Financial Review wrote that a select group of funds in the country were asked to look at Digicel, as its owner explored strategic options including a potential listing.

Mr O'Brien sensationally pulled a planned initial public offering of Digicel shares at the 11th hour in October 2015, rather than push ahead with a deal he believed undervalued the telecoms group.

In Australia, reports suggest any new equity deal is a long way off.


Irish Independent

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