Business

LIME Jamaica subscribers hit 700,000

Wednesday, May 28, 2014    

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LIME says it added 165,000 new mobile subscribers to its network over the 12 months to March 2014.

The additional accounts represented a 31 per cent rise in Jamaican subscribers to 705,000, according to the telecommunications company’s latest financials.

Consequently, mobile service revenue grew by 28 per cent over the previous financial year. Operating profit before exceptional item was $766 million during the three months ended March 31, 2014, or 84 per cent more than the $417 million posted in the comparative period last year.

“Our results for the year ended March 31, confirmed the positive momentum that we reported in previous quarters,” said Garfield Sinclair, CEO of the company. At the same time, operating profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) increased 43 per cent year over year.

Nonetheless, LIME posted a loss of $3.5 billion during the year under review, an improvement on the loss of $4.8 billion in the comparative period in 2013.

“We will continue to improve our operating model, make significant investments in our infrastructure and provide customers with the most affordable services in order to generate strong returns for our shareholders and fulfilling work environment for our employees,” the company said.

Total revenue for the year under review was $18.4 billion, down from $19 billion in the corresponding period. It was negatively impacted by the reduction in Directory Service revenue as a result of the restructuring of the Global Directory Services contract.

Similarly, corporate and enterprise solutions revenue decreased and gross margin fell by 37 per cent compared to the prior year. LIME said that its reasonable priced voice and internet package yielded a 17 per cent increase in broadband revenues and virtually no fixed-line churn compared to the prior year.

“Out strategy of remaining focused in being trusted advisors to our corporate, government and enterprise customers along with providing them the most robust data connectivity solutions will continue to help us maintain our market share and margins in this segment,” said LIME.

Data service revenue was up by six per cent, while broadband subscription base also grew by 13 per cent compared to the prior year.

The company secured additional spectrum for US$30 million — to enable expansion of the backhaul capacity to accommodate the additional subscribers and increased data traffic.

Total operating expenses increased by four per cent over the prior year, despite reduced power usage and other cost containment measures. The increase in administration and operating expenses include the increase in consultancy fees for the outsourcing arrangements with Ericsson.

This increase was, however, offset by the reduction in employee expenses due to the outsourcing of service delivery implemented in the first quarter as well as redundancies during the second half of the financial year.

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