Digicel posted the same percentage growth in its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), which rose to $954 million in the 12 months to the end of March 2011 from $753 million a year earlier.
Digicel’s subscriber numbers rose by 6 per cent in the period to 11.5 million across 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Pacific islands.
Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday, Digicel chief executive Colm Delves said the company’s net profit rose by $175 million last year. But he would not disclose the net profit figure.
Mr O’Brien, who wholly owns the business, was paid a dividend of $40 million by Digicel last year.
Digicel closed the period with cash reserves of more than $600 million. It has borrowings of about $4.6 billion, according to a recent note from ratings agency Fitch.
Mr Delves said Digicel had made “good progress” during the year. “We’re pretty bullish on where we see the business going forward,” he added.
He expressed his confidence that the proposed asset swap with America Movil, which is controlled by wealthy Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, would be approved by various regulators. Digicel is due to sell its assets in El Salvador and Honduras to America Movil while that company’s Claro mobile business in Jamaica is to transfer to Mr O’Brien’s ownership.
Digicel would also receive $355 million in cash, of which $185 million would be used to repay debt relating to its Honduras business.
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