Millicom has resumed shareholder remuneration following a double-digit revenue uplift in second quarter 2021, as it registered growth in all countries and business units with its mobile business thriving in Colombia.
Industry experts have said Millicom did a smart thing selling off its operations in Africa to concentrate on Latin America as Africa was a liability.
CEO Mauricio Ramos hailed an outstanding Q2 in an earnings statement and, in light of its strong operational and financial performance along with a favourable outlook for 2021, explained the company would push ahead with shareholder remuneration through a share buy-back programme of up to $100 million.
This was due to tax and net financial expenses, which also took into account foreign exchange swings.
Ramos explained the programme was an efficient way to compound growth over time, and offered “excellent value”.
For the quarter, revenue was up 12.3 per cent year-on-year to $1.1 billion, while the company’s loss narrowed from $115 million to $100 million. Operating profit was up 45.7 per cent at $135 million, as it cited mobile strength with record post-paid net additions, including 220,000 in Colombia.
The company said it performed better in the recent period compared with a relatively weak Q2 2020 at the onset of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Costs of sales increased, but was partially offset by lower provisions for bad debt.
Operating expenses increased 22 per cent to $403 million, reflecting increased sales and marketing costs to support customer growth.
Millicom’s overall mobile base increased 14.2 per cent to 43.1 million, with its 4G base growing 35.2 per cent to 19.3 million.