http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/28312241-millicom-international-cellular-sa-miicf-q2-2011.aspx

Millicom International Cellular SA MIICF
Q2 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 07/19/2011

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Millicom Q2 2011 Conference Call. For your information, this call is being recorded. May I also remind you that this call is being audio streamed over the web and is accessible at www.millicom.com, together with the presentation summarizing the key features of the results.

I'd now like to hand the call over to your host of today's conference, Mr. Mikael Grahne, President and CEO; and Mr. Francois-Xavier Roger, CFO. Please go ahead, gentlemen.

Mikael Grahne - President and CEO: Thank you, operator, and welcome to you all. As usual, you can find the slides for this call on our website. Please go to Slide number 3. In Q2, we recorded underlying local currency revenue growth of 11%. We are pleased to see the continued momentum in ARPU with positive growth once again in both Central and South America, which is (indiscernible) to our focus on VAS and on attracting and retaining higher value customers.

VAS revenues now account for almost one-third of total revenues in Latin America and half of the revenue growth for the region. Despite accelerated commercial investment in 3G, services, and increased advertising and promotional activity, we reported a strong underlying EBITDA margin of 46.2%.

Normalized EPS increased by 40% year-on-year due to the reduction of tax losses at operating and corporate level, as well as our focus on tax planning and capital restructuring. We returned a total of $359 million to shareholders in the second quarter through a combination of dividend payments and share buybacks.

Now, let’s look at the financial highlights for the quarter in more detail as shown on Slide 4. Revenues for the quarter were $1.1 billion, up 15% year-on-year or 11% on an underlying basis excluding exceptional items. The underlying EBITDA margin was 46.2%, 0.9 percentage points lower than for Q1 reflecting greater investment in 3G and services. We ended the quarter with 41.3 million customers, up 12% year-on-year.

CapEx for the quarter was $151 million or 13% of revenues. As we have stated previously, CapEx should be significantly higher in H2 and we restate our full year guidance of around $850 million for the full year.

Operating free cash flow at $268 million or 24% of revenues was higher than last year.

On Slide 5, you can see how our focus on higher value customers is being reflected in our subsidy cost, which are almost 40% higher in Q2 than in absolute terms as we aim to support data development. Sales and marketing costs excluding subsidies were 13% higher year-on-year. The strategy of accelerated investment in 3G and services aimed to address growing demand for the data, new services, and to sustain double-digit growth in the medium-term.

On Slide 6, we have set out our local currency mobile revenue growth over the last 10 quarters. Underlying local currency growth was 11.5% for the first half or 0.2% points higher than the average for 2010, confirming our ability to produce double-digit growth.

ARPU erosion continues to improve as you can see on Slide 7, primarily as a result of data development, but also due to our focus on higher quality customers and on other non-voice revenue streams.

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