Digicel revenues up 12pc to US$2.2bn

17 Jun 2010

Denis O’Brien’s Digicel Group has recorded revenues of US$2.2bn for the year, up 12p on last year. Growth was driven largely by data, postpaid and BlackBerry revenues.

With subscribers up 15pc to 10.8 million across all 32 markets – driven in particular by major growth in the Central American and Pacific markets – Digicel closed out the year with revenues of US$2.2bn. This represents a 12pc gain year on year and a compound annual growth rate of 24pc from 2007 to 2010 when all Digicel markets are included.

In terms of Digicel Group Limited (which comprises 24 markets across the Caribbean and El Salvador), revenues were US$1.75bn – up 1pc year on year and 5pc in constant currency terms – with EBITDA margin increasing to 43pc, up from 39pc the previous year.

In those 24 markets, Digicel achieved a significant 31pc growth in data revenues year on year while the postpaid subscriber base grew by a considerable 18pc year on year. Digicel also continued to lead the way across the region in the provision of BlackBerry services, with BlackBerry user numbers going up by 138pc.

Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves, comments: “It’s been another great year for Digicel. Our promise and commitment to our customers to deliver best value, best service and best network is continuing to translate into sustained growth and strong performance resulting in us once again over delivering against all of our internal targets.

During the year Digicel Group announced the acquisition of its sister company Digicel Pacific Ltd in a deal worth US$825m. Digicel Pacific operates in six markets and had 1.7 million subscribers at the year end.

Digicel raised a total of US$1.8bn via the international bond markets – the proceeds of which were used to acquire Digicel Pacific Ltd, refinance existing debt and for general corporate purposes.

The company also completed the acquisition of Orange Dominica Ltd – as a result, Digicel is delivering its best-value services to a much larger customer base in Dominica.

The company reported continued growth in Jamaica against the backdrop of increased competition, with Digicel growing its subscriber base by 3pc and underlying revenues by 2pc year on year.

In addition, as the largest mobile provider and largest private investor in Haiti, Digicel’s priority in the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake was to ensure customers could stay connected and to do whatever it could to help.

In total, Digicel has donated over US$20m to support the relief efforts in Haiti – as well as undertaking a number of humanitarian initiatives including food, temporary housing and aid distribution programmes to help Haiti to rebuild.

Digicel chairman, Denis O’Brien, was named Goodwill Ambassador to the City of Port-au-Prince by the mayor of the city in recognition of his efforts.

In the coming year, Digicel customers can look forward to the impending launch of consumer WiMAX services across Jamaica and 3G+ launches in the French West Indies and Bermuda.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years