M-CEL RUNNING AT A PROFIT IN MOZAMBIQUE

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Mozambique's publicly owned cell phone company M-Cel is now running at a healthy profit while its sole competitor, the South African owned Vodacom, is still making heavy losses. According to a press release issued by M-Cel, the company made a profit of 491 million meticais (about US$19.6 million) in 2006.

Total revenue in 2006 was 4.4 billion meticais (about US$170 million), which was an increase of 29 per cent over the 2005 figure, M-Cel boasts that it holds 70 per cent of the Mozambican cell phone market with a total of 1.48 million clients in December.

Vodacom's latest financial statement, issued in March, admitted to a loss of ZAR177 million (about US$25 million) on its Mozambican operations. Mozambique is the only country where Vodacom is running at a loss. Its other operations (in South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo) are all profitable.

Vodacom claims 988,000 clients in Mozambique, and says this is 35 per cent of the market.

M-Cel claims a far larger geographical coverage than Vodacom: its latest adverts say that it is the only mobile phone service provider that covers the entire length of the country's main north-south highway, from Maputo to the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

(SOURCE: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique)