By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Miami — No-contract cellular MVNO TracFone Wireless posted double-digit percentage gains in revenues in the fourth quarter and full 2012 fiscal year on faster subscriber growth in both periods compared with the year-ago periods, owner America Movil reported.
Revenues grew 30.8 percent in the quarter to $1.36 billion and 25.7 percent for the year to $4.8 billion. Fourth-quarter subscriber gains hit 753,000 compared with the year-ago 493,000, and full-year net additions hit 2.63 million, up from more than 2 million in the previous year.
TracFone’s EBITDA fell in the quarter by 49.6 percent to $39 million, but the metric was up for the full year by 52 percent to $507 million.
Owner America Movil, Latin America’s largest cellphone carrier, did not break out TracFone’s operating income.
TracFone’s subscriber gains include the October launch of the Telcel America brand, which includes unlimited calls to any number in Mexico, and the late-year availability of the company’s Straight Talk service for the iPhone 5 with plans starting at $45/month for unlimited talk, texting and data.
The 2012 subscriber statistics also include TracFone’s June 2012 acquisition of no-contract provider Simple Mobile, which had more than 1 million subscribers at the time of acquisition.
TracFone ended the year with 22.4 million subscribers, up 13.3 percent from the year-ago 19.8 million.
TracFone also markets service under the Net 10 brands and the Safe Link Wireless brand, which offers government-subsidized Lifeline service to the poor.
Mexico City-based parent American Movil posted a fourth-quarter drop in net income of 8.2 percent to 15 billion pesos but a full-year net-income gain of 10.6 percent to 91.4 billion pesos.
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