UNE EPM Cuts Net Loss in 2017 Versus 2016; Millicom Taking Long View
Medellin-based UNE EPM – the minority shareholder in Colombia’s “TigoUne” cell-phone service partnership as well as related internet, cable TV and land-line services – announced last month that the company’s full-year 2017 consolidated revenues dipped slightly year-on-year, to COP$5.06 trillion (US$1.7 billion).
Net loss in 2017 also improved year-on-year, to COP$40 billion (US$14 million), compared to a net loss of COP $190 billion (US$66 million) in 2016.
The majority shareholder is Luxembourg-based Millicom Spain SL along with partners Peak Record SL, Peak Five SL, Global Albion SL and Global Locronan SL.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose slightly year-on-year, to COP$1.349 trillion (US$472 million) in 2017 versus COP$1.346 trillion (US$471 million ) in 2016, according to the company. EBITDA margin rose to 27%, from 26.9% in 2016.
Revenues reported separately for UNE (not including the partnership) slipped year-on-year, to COP$2.38 trillion (US$833 million), versus COP$2.4 trillion (US$840 million) in 2016, but net loss improved dramatically, at COP$10 billion (US$3.5 million million) in 2017 versus a net loss of COP$145 billion (US$50.7 million) in 2016.
Meanwhile, commenting on the TigoUne 2017 results, majority partner Millicom added: “In Colombia, our strategy has been to build for the future, enhancing our convergence capabilities to provide long-term, stable growth.
“We are adding 4G users, building our HFC [hybrid fiber coaxial] network and connecting homes, improving bundling, differentiating our brand, and improving our internal operations in order to serve our customers more efficiently.
“In mobile [cell-phone service], we added almost a million 4G smartphone data customers, a year-over-year growth rate of 98% [and] an acceleration over 2016’s year-over-year growth of 79%.
“[As a result], 4G smartphone data users now represent 26% of our B2C [business-to-consumer] mobile base [now totaling 2.016 million users] and have contributed to driving data use up by 39% to 1.7 GB [gigabytes] per user.
“We continue to expand the reach of our HFC network in Colombia, with just over 612,000 additional homes passed and 93,300 new homes connected [now totaling 1.108 million homes].
“In addition, the bundling ratio of our HFC customers has risen steadily in recent years as Revenue Generating Units (RGUs) growth of 15% has outpaced the growth in homes connected.
“We also launched next generation television this year; ‘Tigo ONEtv’ integrates traditional linear television content with leading streaming and video-on-demand platforms. The service is the result of a partnership with TiVo.
“Service revenue declined by 0.7% year-over-year, as we faced regulatory headwinds, but results improved in the second half, indicating that our strategy is gaining traction,” according to the company.