TracFone Sees Subscriber, Revenue Gains

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Mexico City - Prepaid MVNO TracFone added 493,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter and more than 2 million in calendar 2011 to wind up with 19.8 million year-end subscribers, up 11.3 percent from year-end 2010.

Revenues were up substantially in the quarter and year. Fourth-quarter revenues grew 30.9 percent to more than $1 billion, and full-year revenues grew 35.3 percent to $3.8 billion. America Movil cited rising average revenues per subscriber and greater minutes of use.

In the quarter, average subscriber revenue hit $16/month compared with the year-ago quarter's $14, and average minutes of use rose 32 percent to almost 400 minutes, thanks to in part to growth in the company's StraightTalk service, marketed through Walmart, the company said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 126.9 percent from the year-ago quarter to $77 million. For the year, EBITDA rose 8.8 percent to $334 million.

Though TracFone's subscriber base grew in the quarter, the MVNO's 493,000 net adds in the quarter were down from the year-ago 1.1 million and less than the third quarter's 515,000 net adds. Full-year net adds were also down to 2.01 million from 2010's 3.32 million.

TracFone is owned by Mexico-based Latin America carrier America Movil, which didn't disclose TracFone's operating profit.


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