America Movil, the largest telecom operator in Latin America, posted a 37.5 percent year-on-year jump in first quarter net profit due to foreign exchange gains and the addition of Brazilian cable television company Net Servicos, the Financial Times reported today.
The company, owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, said net profit rose to 32.64 billion pesos ($2.5 billion) from 23.7 billion pesos a year earlier, according to a statement on the company’s website.
Slim is the world's richest man with a fortune of $69 billion, according to Forbes.
America Movil, which operates in 18 countries throughout the region, easily beat analyst expectations of 27 billion pesos.
Sales increased 12 percent to 192.5 billion pesos.
Bloomberg said an appreciation in many Latin American currencies – driven by investors looking for better returns than those offered by the US dollar – delivered America Movil a foreign exchange gain of 19.3 billion pesos, more than four times last year’s result.
America Movil’s bottom line was also helped by the absorption of Brazil’s largest cable TV carrier Net Servicos into its financial accounts, Reuters noted.
The company’s mobile subscriber base expanded by 4.2 million to 246 million during the quarter, while satellite and cable TV subscriptions increased 33 percent from a year earlier to 14 million, including 10.6 million in Brazil, according to America Movil's accounts.
America Movil chief executive Daniel Hajj, meanwhile, told analysts during a conference call that the outlook for smartphone and data service sales in Latin America was positive.
"The trend is to sell more smartphones. Smartphones are getting cheaper, and people are starting to use -- in post-paid and pre-paid -- more services," Hajj was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying.
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