Millicom has reported returning to profit in the first quarter of 2021, largely driven by a record 1.1 million customer additions in its mobile business.
The net additions to mobile customer also fueled a 1.3 per cent growth in service revenue year-on-year to US$1.4 billion, reflecting a net profit of US$42 million compared with a US$122 million loss in Q1 2020.
Reported total revenue stood at $1.1 billion over the period under review.
The telco also ended the period with 42.8 million mobile customers, with almost half of them being on 4G plans.
Millicom recently completed the sale of its Africa operations with the offloading of its shares in AirtelTigo to the Ghana government, and sale of Tigo Tanzania to Axian from Madagascar to concentrate solely on South America.
As a result, its net additions from Colombia and Honduras in South America, accounted for 25 per cent of its total additional customer base.
CEO Mauricio Ramos noted that Q1 showed operational and strategic investments over the past year were paying off, saying “After an incredibly strong Q1, we now have more customers, and we are generating more revenue, more EBITDA and more OCF than we did one year ago, before the pandemic.”
He also pointed to strategic developments including agreements signed to dispose of its remaining operations in Africa through a deal to sell its business in Tanzania.
“We are very pleased with the outcome and plan the proceeds to reduce our net debt”, which stood at $6.2 billion at end-March.