MOBILE company Millicom International Cellular CA announced a 16 percent revenue surge in the first quarter of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009, following the sale of US$346 million worth of Cambodian assets late last year.
Millicom sold a majority stake of Mobitel to Kith Meng’s Royal Group after a strategic review of its Southeast Asia assets.
It also sold interests in Royal Telecom International Co Ltd and Cambodia Broadcasting Service Co Ltd.
The sell-down of a bridging loan that covered the acquisition was launched in March by ANZ Royal and Standard Bank.
In its first-quarter report released Tuesday, Millicom showed strong growth on its operations in South America and Africa.
Basic earnings per common share grew to $1.43 from $1.29 last year.
Global revenue grew to $905 million, from $779 million in the first quarter of 2009, a figure that excluded results from its former assets in Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone.
President and CEO of Millicom, Mikael Grahne, said: “We have made a good start to the year and continue to execute our strategy successfully. We added 1.2 million new customers in the quarter as we continued to gain market share.”
“Cash generation continued to be strong, with operating free cash flow of $234 million representing 25.9 percent of revenues and all regions generating positive cash flow,” he added in a press statement which accompanied the quarter one report.
As the group is looking to develop markets in countries such as Chad and Guatemala, the fate of one of its former interests has yet to be resolved.
The business intended to sell a 74.1 percent holding in Millicom Lao Co Ltd to Russian-based firm Vimpelcom, which is the parent company of Cambodian operator Beeline.
The report stated that an agreement had not been completed, despite “all conditions” being met.
“Millicom is reserving its rights under the terms of the agreement, including the right to seek compensation for any loss of value that arises as a result of Vimpelcom’s decision not to complete,” the report stated.
The authors of the report also confirmed the company’s intention to proceed with the sale of its Laos operation.