Mobile data is a rising driver for America Movil
Latin American giant reports 37% leap in net income with wireless data and quad play growth seen as major factors
Published: 30 April, 2012
Growth in mobile data revenue has been the defining feature of financial performance at the major developed market cellcos in recent years, and the trend is starting to affect the emerging economy giants too. Latin America's pan-regional monster America Movil reported a 37% year-on-year leap in first quarter net income and a 6.5% jump in subscribers, crediting rising use of mobile data and triple or quad play services.
"Although still in its early stages, the expansion of mobile data revenues topped all other revenue items in the quarter," the company said in its statement. "We are seeing a significant move towards multiple play services as our clients seek new services from us, with more double and triple play plans and even quadruple play plans where mobile and fixed services are bundled together."
The company added 4.2m wireless subscribers in the first quarter to reach a total of 246m, although this was actually a slowing of mobile growth compared to that of the year-ago quarter, when 6,1m net adds were announced. Subscriptions to fixed lined services rose by 1.9m to 30m, and Movil also had 16m broadband users and 14m TV viewers across the region. Brazil was the main driver of new wireless subscriptions, adding 1.2m, followed by Movil's home base of Mexico, with 1.1m.
On a group level, the company reported net income of $2.5bn, up 37.5% year-on-year, on revenue up 12.4% to $14.85bn. Wireless revenue grew at a faster rate than fixed services, at 15.8% versus 7.1%, and mobile now accounts for 62.5% of total revenue. In the quarter, about 43% of group revenue came from cellular voice, and 18% from wireless data. At constant currency, mobile data services would have increased by 31%.
In the opposite trend to that seen in more developed mobile markets, the drift is towards postpaid contracts, and this was particularly seen in Mexico and Colombia. One-quarter of the net adds were on contract. Regionally, the firm's subscriber base is now split between five main markets plus a broad spread over the region. In Mexico, it has 67m users, followed by 62m in Brazil, 29m in Colombia, and 20m each in the US and Argentina. There are a further 19m users across the CALA area and the operator offers services in 18 countries.