October 2, 2023

UNE-EPM (TIGO) Posts Net Loss for Full-Year 2022

Medellin-based cell-phone/internet/cable-TV/telecom giant UNE-EPM (commercially known as “Tigo”) on March 31 posted a COP$474 billion (US$103 million) net loss for full-year 2022 — a small improvement over the COP$572 billion (US$124 million) net loss in 2021.

UNE-EPM also posted net losses in 2020 and 2018, while its 2019 net profit came-in at just COP$519 million (US$113,000).

Full-year 2022 gross revenues increased 6% year-on-year, to COP$5.4 trillion (US$1.17 billion), versus COP$5.1 trillion (US$1.1 billion) in 2021, according to the company.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 5.5% year-on-year, according to Tigo, which is slightly more than half-owned by EPM (Medellin’s municipal utility) and 49% owned by Spain-based telecom multinational Millicom.

“This growth [in revenues and EBITDA] represented and absorbed the great challenges of impacts of inflation and devaluation of the exchange rate on costs and expenses,” according to the company.

The net loss in 2022 is explained not only by monetary devaluation, inflation, depreciation, and higher costs of its bond debt, but also by “amortization of financial leases” as well as “higher amortization and interest expense associated with the acquisition of 700-MHz spectrum from our subsidiary, Colombia Móvil,” according to Tigo.

“Our consolidated financial debt structure — excluding liabilities for financial leases — closed at COP$2.91 trillion [US$632 million], which decreased compared to 2021 by around COP$284 billion [US$61.7 million],” according to Tigo.

“This reduction is mainly due to the net effect of the prepayment of US$100 million in January 2022 on the syndicated loan of our subsidiary Colombia Móvil,” the company added.

At year-end 2022, UNE-EPM assets stood at COP$9.54 trillion (US$2.07 billion) with and a net worth calculated at COP$558 billion (US$121 million), according to the company.

“Our direct costs of providing services amounted to COP$722 billion [US$157 million], representing 26% of income,” according to Tigo.

“This item increased in relation to the year 2021 mainly due to the levels of commercial investment required to increase our market share in digital services for business and government customers, plus the impacts of both the devaluation of the peso in relation to the U.S. dollar and inflation on those costs,” the company added.

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