Thursday, February 5, 2009

América Móvil Reaches 183 Million Mobile Users

América Móvil added 10.1 million subscribers in Q4 2008 -- the most it has ever added for a given quarter -- giving it a total of 182.7 million across all of the Latin American countries it serves. Net additions were 3.5% higher than those of the same period of last year. In Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador net additions were up by 87%,36% and 34%, respectively relative to the previous year. In the latter two countries, as in Mexico and Brazil, the postpaid base has been growing more rapidly than the prepaid one.

Some highlights:

  • Through 2008, América Móvil gained 29.3 million subscribers, 2.3% more than a year before. The company ended the year with 182.7 million wireless subscribers and 3.8 million fixed lines, for a total of 186.6 million lines.

  • In Brazil, América Móvil obtained 3 million subs in the quarter and in each of Mexico and Colombia 2 million. Tracfone, in the U.S. gained 743 thousand clients whereas Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and the Caribbean each registered approximately half a million net additions in the period.

  • In annual terms, the company's fourth quarter revenues were up 11.6% to 94.4 billion pesos, with service revenues rising 14.7% on the back of strong subscriber and data revenue growth.

  • Capital expenditures topped 68 billion pesos in 2008 whereas distributions to shareholders (via both share buybacks and dividends) reached nearly 52 billion pesos, for a combined total of 120 billion pesos. Except for 11.5 billion pesos that were financed in the market, the rest of the above-mentioned outlays was covered by cash flow.

  • At the end of the year our net debt stood at 121.5 billion pesos equivalent, which represented 0.88 times EBITDA (last twelve months). América Móvil's cash position represented approximately 85% of short term debt at the time.

  • In Mexico net additions in the fourth quarter were just shy of two million bringing to 6.4 million the total figure for 2008. América Móvil's subscriber base finished the year at 56.4 million clients. It was up 3.7% sequentially and 12.7% year-on-year.

  • Claro Brazil added three million subscribers to end December with 38.7 million, 28.1% more than a year before. At 8.5 million, net additions in 2008 were 34% higher than in 2007. They represented 28.7% of the total net adds of the market, making Claro the leader in subscriber growth for the year, both in the Brazilian market.

  • Colombia followed Brazil with just over two million net subscriber gains in the quarter-- 87.2% more than in the same period of 2007--and 5.1 million subs in the year, closing December with 27.4 million clients, 22.6% more than a year before.

  • Argentina obtained 553 thousand new clients in the fourth quarter, bringing to 1.9 million the year's total. Wireless penetration in the country has reached an estimated 113% and is the highest in Latin America.

  • Peru and Ecuador each obtained 455 thousand net additions each in the fourth quarter, to finish December with 7.2 and 8.3 million clients, respectively. In Chile, América Móvil almost doubled net additions from a year before--to 214 thousand--taking the subscriber base to three million.

  • In Central America, América Móvil obtained slightly more than one million net additions in 2008, of which 110 thousand were added in the fourth quarter. Combined subscriber base in the region ended December with 9.2 million, 12.3% more than in 2007.

  • América Móvil's operations in the Caribbean added 1.3 million subscribers in 2008, 554 thousand of them in the last quarter. The latter figure doubles that of a year earlier. In the U.S. our fourth quarter net subscriber additions, 743 thousand, were up 4.6% year-on-year, bringing to 1.7 million our net gains for 2008.

  • Overall data revenues for América Móvil climbed 37.0% in the fourth quarter relative to the same period of the prior year, more than twice as fast as service revenues, with data now accounting for 15% of service revenues. In just a year since launching 3G services in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, data revenues in those countries grew by 70%, 41% and 26%, respectively.