América Móvil Swings to Loss on Currency Issues, Natural Disasters

By Robbie Whelan Features Dow Jones Newswires

Telecommunications company América Móvil SAB said Tuesday that it posted a third-quarter net loss as revenue weakened partly due to natural disasters in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

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Latin's America's biggest telecommunications company, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, reported a net loss of 9.5 billion pesos ($494 million) in the three months ending in September, compared with a 2.1 billion-peso profit a year before.

Revenue fell 2.2% to 244.2 billion pesos, which was attributed to a combination of the weakening peso and sales interruptions caused by storms and tremors in Mexico and the Caribbean. The Mexican currency had fallen 4.2% against the U.S. dollar from its mid-July highs by the end of September. The company offered bonuses and credits to customers in Puerto Rico, which was battered by Hurricane Maria, and provided five days of free service in Mexico, which was struck by two deadly earthquakes in September.

América Móvil said that at a fixed exchange rate, service revenue -- a measure of operating revenue due for services performed, but not necessarily billed for -- would have risen 1.5% in the quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, a measure of operating cash flow, fell 2.1% to 66.3 billion pesos.

Financial costs rose by 7.4% in the quarter to 11.8 billion pesos, mainly the result of foreign exchange losses, which widened by 14.3% as the peso weakened against the dollar.

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The company had been expected to report net profit of 10.3 billion pesos on revenue of 245.1 billion pesos, with Ebitda of 68.7 billion pesos, according to the median estimate of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Write to Robbie Whelan at robbie.whelan@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 20:27 ET (00:27 GMT)