Digicel to Swap with Claro

DENIS O’BRIEN’S mobile phone company Digicel Group Ltd increased its revenues last year by 27 per cent to $2.23 billion.

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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2 Responses to "Digicel to Swap with Claro"

  1. loui  June 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I agree with you 100% Axel. You are already screaming and your lungs are ready to explode and the other party can’t barely hear you. …..i guess that’s the best service this corrupt officials and businessmen can offer to the Honduran people……SHAME ON THEM…now that Zelaya is back in our country, guess crime rate would soar up ha? my companeros and paisanos be careful….they’re just waiting for the right time to make their moves to make Honduras like “Venezuela”. by the way…..how come when an ordinary citizen commits a crime right away they’re in prison and these monkeys that stole a lot of money and damaged the economy of Honduras were just pardoned…as if they did not do anything wrong? ha!ha!ha! funny how they operate on their own interest …it sucks.

  2. Axel Javier Reyes Bogran  June 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Ok, good, somebody is making money in Honduras, oh, wait, is it this company not ( or yes ) one of those being investiagted for alliances with corrupt officilas??
    And if these companies find it so profitable to work in Honduras, why is it that is so expensive to call there and so bad a service that you almost can’t have a conversation?
    Come on, somebody has to start looking out for the common people in Honduras, and I mean to do it the right way, not Zelaya style with all those false promises and impossible to fulfill propositions, I mean, for real benefits.

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