Luxembourg, February 6th 2018 - Strong finish to 2017, accelerating into 2018
Q4 2017 and FY2017 highlights (i)
- Latam organic service revenue growth improved to 3.1%, up 73 bps QoQ
- Growth led by Bolivia at 9.1%, Paraguay at 8.9% and El Salvador at 5.4%
- Latam EBITDA up 9.0% on improved growth and efficiency gains
- Equity Free Cash Flow up 39.2% to $356 million in 2017
- Accelerated 4G and HFC network buildout and exceeded our full year targets
- Expanded 4G network to cover 56% of the population and added record 3.5 million 4G customers
- Added record 1.3 million HFC homes passed and record 253,000 HFC homes connected
- Completed sale of operations in Rwanda
- Signed sale-leaseback for approximately 800 towers in El Salvador for up to $145 million
- Dividend recommended of $2.64 per share
|$m (excluding Senegal and Ghana from all periods)||Q4 2017||Q4 2016||% change||FY 2017||FY 2016||% change|
|OCF (EBITDA – Capex)||177||136||30.3%||1,197||1,126||6.2%|
*Excludes spectrum and finance lease capitalizations from tower sale and leaseback transactions
(i)The financial information presented in this earnings release is based on Alternative Performance Measures determined by the way in which the Executive Management (Chief Operating Decision Maker) manage the performance and resource allocation of the Group. It includes Guatemala (55% owned) & Honduras (66.67% owned) as if fully consolidated. With the exception of balance sheet items, the comparative 2016 financial information in this earnings release has been adjusted for the classification of our operations in Senegal and Ghana as discontinued operations. At December 31st, 2017, Senegal is classified as an asset held for sale on our balance sheet. Our operations in Ghana have been merged with Airtel on October 12th, 2017 and are accounted for as a joint venture since that date. IFRS Revenue was $1,069 million in Q4 2017; see page 19 for reconciliation with IFRS numbers.
Millicom Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Ramos commented:
Growth returned to our Latam markets during the second half of 2017, thanks largely to our strategic focus on building digital highways and accelerating the transition from legacy voice and SMS to high-speed data services, both in mobile and fixed.
In Latam, our mobile business is growing again, and it is encouraging to see Q4 growth of more than 3% in Paraguay and Bolivia, countries where the transition from voice to data is more advanced. Meanwhile, the investments we are making in our HFC networks are driving steady mid-to-high single-digit growth in Home and B2B, and we see a large opportunity for Millicom in these areas.
In Africa, we delivered on our commitment to generate positive free cash flow from the region in 2017. We also disposed of our operation in Rwanda, and we completed a merger in Ghana, consistent with our strategy to focus on the Latam region.
Over the last several months, we also monetized tower portfolios in Paraguay, Colombia and El Salvador, and we reduced our stake in BIMA. As a result of these transactions and of our organic cash flow growth, we reduced our leverage and improved our return on capital in 2017.
We enter 2018 with positive momentum in our largest markets and with the financial strength to support our long-term growth plans and create shareholder value. I expect that 2018 will be an even better and more exciting year for Millicom.
For our Latam segment, we expect 2018 service revenue growth of 2-4% and EBITDA growth of 3-6% year-on-year in constant currency, and capital expenditures for the region of approximately $1 billion. In our B2C mobile unit, we expect to add 3 million new 4G data customers and to end the year with over 10 million. In our Home business, we anticipate adding 1 million new HFC homes passed to reach 10 million total homes, and we expect to connect an incremental 300,000 HFC homes to our network. For Africa, we expect the region will continue to produce positive equity free cash flow.
At the Annual General Meeting on May 4th, 2018, the Board will recommend payment of an unchanged ordinary dividend of $2.64 per share to be paid in two equal instalments in May and November 2018.
On January 31st, 2018, we completed our previously announced agreement to sell our operations in Rwanda. In 2017, our business in Rwanda generated EBITDA of $14 million from revenue of $57 million. In 2016, our business in the country produced EBITDA of $15 million on revenue of $64 million. The business generated negative equity free cash flow in both years.
On February 6th, 2018, we entered into a sale-leaseback agreement with SBA Communications related to a portfolio of approximately 800 towers in El Salvador. As a result of the transaction, Millicom expects to receive cash proceeds of around $145 million.
Conference call details
A presentation and conference call to discuss these results will take place on 7 February 2018 at 2:00 PM (Stockholm) / 1:00 PM (London) / 8:00 AM (New York). Please dial in 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time to register your attendance. Dial-in numbers for the call are as follows:
Sweden: +46 (0)8 5065 3942 UK: +44 (0) 330 336 9411
US: +1 646 828 8156 Luxembourg: +352 2787 0187
The access code is: 6814351
A live audio stream and slides of the analyst presentation can also be accessed at www.millicom.com.
|Quarterly results||Earnings release||Conference call|
|Q1 2018||Apr 24||Apr 25|
|Q2 2018||Jul 19||Jul 20|
|Q3 2018||Oct 23||Oct 24|
Apr 12 – Last day for shareholders to add items to the AGM/EGM agenda
May 4 – AGM / EGM (Location: Luxembourg)
For further information, please contact
Vivian Kobeh, Corporate Communications Director
+1 305 476 7352 / +1 305 302 2858
Michel Morin, VP Investor Relations
+352 277 59094
Mauricio Pinzon, Investor Relations Manager
Tel: +44 20 3249 2460
Risks and uncertainty factors
Millicom operates in a dynamic industry characterized by rapid evolution in technology, consumer demand, and business opportunities. Combined with a focus on emerging markets in various geographic locations, the Group has a proactive approach to identifying, understanding, assessing, monitoring and acting on balancing risks and opportunities. For a description of risks and Millicom’s approach to risk management, please refer to the 2016 Annual Report (http://www.millicom.com/investors/reporting-centre).
In addition to the information in the 2016 Annual Report and the information provided in this release, please refer to Millicom’s press release, dated October 21st, 2015, entitled “Millicom reports to authorities potential improper payments on behalf of its Guatemalan joint venture.” At this time, Millicom cannot predict the outcome or consequences of this matter.
This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” with respect to Millicom’s expectations and plans, strategy, management’s objectives, future performance, costs, revenue, earnings and other trend information. It is important to note that Millicom’s actual results in the future could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements depending on various important factors, including those included in this release. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Millicom on the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Millicom International Cellular S.A., and Millicom International Cellular S.A. employees or representatives acting on Millicom’s behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the factors referred to above. Millicom does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
Millicom is a leading provider of cable and mobile services dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. Millicom sets the pace when it comes to providing high-speed broadband and innovative digital lifestyle services through its principal brand, Tigo. As of December 31st, 2017, Millicom employed more than 18,000 people and provided mobile services to approximately 51 million customers, with a Cable footprint of more than 9 million homes passed. Founded in 1990, Millicom International Cellular SA is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on NASDAQ Stockholm under the symbol MIC. In 2017, Millicom reported revenues of $6.0 billion and EBITDA of USD 2.2 billion.