Solid 2018 underpins strong medium-term outlook


The financial highlights discussed and summarized in the table below are presented on an IFRS basis and therefore do not include the fully consolidated results from our Guatemala and Honduras joint ventures.

  • Healthy organic growth in Latam offset by currency and accounting impacts in 2018 – IFRS revenue flat
  • Operating profit up 1.5% in 2018 even as one-offs affected Q4
  • Completion of Cable Onda acquisition and listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market in the U.S.
  • Dividend of $2.64 per share paid in semi-annual installments to be proposed at the AGM
Financial highlights ($ millions)   Q4 2018   Q4 2017   % change   FY 2018   FY 2017   % change  
Revenue 1,010 1,056 (4.4%) 4,074 4,076 (0.0%)
Operating Profit 113 193 (41.4%) 655 645 1.5%
Net Income / (Loss) (94) 69 NM (10) 86 NM

Latin America segment highlights – Q4 and FY 2018

Our Latin America (“Latam”) segment includes our Guatemala and Honduras joint ventures as if they were fully consolidated. These highlights and the table that follows include non-IFRS measures. See page 18 for a description of these measures and for reconciliations to the nearest equivalent IFRS measures.

  • Latam added 3.2 million 4G smartphone data customers in 2018 ending with more than 10 million
  • We added 406,000 HFC customer relationships to end 2018 with 3.1 million
  • Revenue declined 1.9% in Q4 and rose 0.8% in 2018 as weaker FX and IFRS 15 adoption affected results
  • Organic(i) service revenue growth improved to 4.3% in 2018 from 0.9% in 2017 - ahead of our full year outlook
  • Latam EBITDA(i) growth of 2.6% (3.5% organic(i)) in 2018 - in line with our full year outlook
Latam segment highlights ($ millions)   Q4 2018   Q4 2017   % change   FY 2018   FY 2017   % change  
Revenue 1,381 1,407 (1.9%) 5,485 5,441 0.8%
Service Revenue 1,263 1,307 (3.3%) 5,069 5,078 (0.2%)
     Organic growth(i) 3.7% 3.1% 0.6pt 4.3% 0.9% 3.4pt
EBITDA(i) 524 520 0.9% 2,077 2,024 2.6%
   Organic growth(i) 4.0% 9.0% (5.0pt) 3.5% 2.8% 0.7pt
EBITDA(i) Margin 38.0% 36.9% 1.1pt 37.9% 37.2% 0.7pt
Capex(i) 346 336 3.1% 954 907 5.2%
OCF(i) (EBITDA – Capex) 178 184 (3.1%) 1,124 1,117 0.6%

(1) Non-IFRS measure. See page 18 for a description of these measures and for reconciliations to the nearest equivalent IFRS measures.

Millicom Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Ramos commented:

“I am extremely pleased by our strong performance in 2018 on many fronts. We delivered on all our operational and financial targets, and we made great strides toward increasing our focus on Latam by divesting our operations in Rwanda and Senegal and acquiring Cable Onda in Panama. We capped the year by completing our registration with the U.S. SEC, allowing our shares to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market in January. As we begin this new chapter as a U.S. listed company, we are introducing our medium-term growth plans. The new year is off to an exciting start, and the Millicom management team remains laser-focused on creating shareholder value and once again delivering on its commitments in 2019 and beyond.”

2019 Outlook

As disclosed on January 9th 2019, we anticipate another solid year in 2019 marked by the continued expansion of our high-speed data networks and customer growth. For our Latam segment, we expect organic service revenue growth to range between 3% and 5%, while EBITDA growth is expected to accelerate to between 4% and 6%, on a like-for-like basis. As usual, these organic growth rates are expressed in constant currency terms and exclude the impact of changes in foreign exchange and accounting standards. Finally, Latam segment Capex should be slightly above $1.0 billion, including about $85 million at Cable Onda, which we expect will generate EBITDA of approximately $184 million.

Financial targets 2019 Outlook   Medium-term plan
Latam segment
Service revenue growth (organic YoY) 3-5% Mid-single-digit
EBITDA* growth (organic YoY) 4-6% Mid-to-high single-digit
OCF* (EBITDA less Capex) growth (organic YoY) Mid-to-high single-digit Around 10%
Capex* Slightly above $1.0 billion  

* EBITDA, Capex and OCF are non-IFRS measures. Please refer to disclosures on page 18 for a description of non-IFRS measures and reconciliations to the nearest equivalent IFRS measures.

Medium-term plan

The company’s strong performance in 2018 and the positive outlook for 2019 are consistent with the strategic plan approved by the Board of Directors. Over the medium term, management sees scope for organic service revenue growth to continue to improve, for margins to expand, and for capital intensity to gradually trend lower over time in the Latam segment. More specifically, management’s ambition as outlined in the strategic plan is to deliver mid-single-digit organic service revenue growth, mid-to-high single-digit EBITDA growth, and around 10% OCF (EBITDA less Capex) growth, over the medium term for the Latam segment.

Underpinning our medium-term targets is our expectation that favorable socio-demographic factors will sustain strong demand and contribute to improved affordability for our services, thereby allowing penetration rates to gradually catch up to levels already seen in other markets globally and elsewhere in Latin America. From a competitive standpoint, we are investing to defend and build upon our current leadership position in all our markets and see the potential for further consolidation.

Over the medium term, we expect that approximately 60% of our mobile customers will consume 4G services, up from just over 30% currently. This will drive robust traffic growth, which we expect can produce low-single-digit organic mobile service revenue growth. Meanwhile, our residential cable business should reach 15 million homes-passed with 10 million revenue-generating units and around 5 million customer relationships. This expected customer growth, combined with steady ARPU expansion, gives us confidence that we can sustain high-single-digit organic cable service revenue growth over the medium-term.

To support execution of its strategic plan, Millicom targets financial leverage of around 2.0x proportionate net debt to EBITDA(i), reflecting greater subscription revenues and a higher relative proportion of our cash flow coming from Central America, where foreign exchange rates tend to be less volatile, balanced against the political and macroeconomic risks that are typical of emerging markets. With a leverage target of 2.0x, Millicom retains the flexibility needed to temporarily increase leverage above the target, as is the case following our recent acquisition of Cable Onda, which took our leverage to the current level of 2.5x.

(1) Proportionate net debt to EBITDA is a non-IFRS measure. Please refer to disclosures on page 18 for a description of non-IFRS measures and reconciliations to the nearest equivalent IFRS measures.

Subsequent Events

On January 9th 2019, Millicom shares began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in the U.S. under ticker symbol TIGO.

On January 14th 2019, Millicom confirmed that it had received a preliminary highly conditional non-binding proposal from Liberty Latin America Ltd in relation to an offer for all shares of Millicom. On January 22nd2019, Millicom announced that preliminary discussions regarding a possible offer were terminated by Liberty Latin America Ltd without an offer being made.

IFRS 15 – Contracts with customers

The implementation of IFRS 15 had a modest impact on our operating profitability in 2018. As shown in the reconciliation table on page 21, implementation of the new standard reduced 2018 revenue by $77 million and service revenue by $116 million, and it increased EBITDA by $11 million for the year, as compared to what our results would have been if we had continued to follow the IAS 18 standard in the year-end 2018.

Most of the impact on service revenue relates to the change in how we present the results of wholesale international traffic. Revenue for a portion of this business are now presented on a net basis. This change in presentation had no material impact on EBITDA, but it produced a reduction in service revenue of $16 million in Q4 2018 and of $87 million for the full year 2018. Included in our 2017 results for this business were service revenue of $38 million for Q4 and $119 million for the full year. For comparison purposes, the organic growth figures discussed throughout this report exclude the impact of this accounting change implemented as of January 1st 2018.

IFRS 16 - Leases         

IFRS 16 became effective on January 1st 2019 and affects primarily the accounting for operating leases, which will be brought onto our balance sheet. While the Group is still finalizing the implementation of IFRS 16, we confirm the preliminary assessment we disclosed within our Q3 2018 results, whereby we expect that application of the standard will increase our EBITDA by 6% to 8% and our underlying net debt, including Guatemala and Honduras as if they were fully consolidated, by 15% to 20%. As a result of these factors, our proportionate net debt to EBITDA ratio will increase by 0.1x to 0.3x. The application of this standard will have no impact on underlying cash flow generation. 

Conference call details

A presentation and conference call to discuss these results will take place on February 8th 2019 at 2:00 PM (Luxembourg/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:

Luxembourg:   +352 2786 1336                                 US:  +1 323 794-2551
Sweden:           +46 (0)8 5033 6574                            UK:  +44 (0) 330 336 9105                        

The access code is: 5373804

A live audio stream, presentation slides, and replay information can be accessed at

Financial calendar


April 10 Last day for shareholders to add items to the AGM agenda
April 23 Q1 results
April 24 Q1 results conference call
May 2 AGM
July 18 Q2 results
July 19 Q2 results conference call
October 23  Q3 results
October 24 Q3 results conference call

Vivian Kobeh, Corporate Communications Director

+1 305 476-7352

Michel Morin, VP Investor Relations 
+1 305 445-4156                                                                                                  

Mauricio Pinzon, Investor Relations Manager
+44 20 3249 2460                                                                                            

About Millicom

Millicom (NASDAQ U.S.: TIGO, Nasdaq Stockholm: TIGO_SDB) 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 innovation around The Digital Lifestyle services through its principal brand, TIGO. As of December 31st 2018, Millicom operating subsidiaries and joint ventures employed more than 21,000 people and provided mobile services to approximately 48 million customers, with a cable footprint of more than 11 million homes passed. Founded in 1992, Millicom International Cellular SA is headquartered in Luxembourg.


About Us

Millicom International Cellular S.A. is a global telecommunications group with mobile telephony operations in 14 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. It also operates cable and broadband businesses in five countries in Central America. The Group’s mobile operations have a combined population under license of approximately 267 million people.