Update 1-Millicom sees higher growth in 2017 after Q4 profit beat

10 February 2017

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Feb 8 Emerging markets telecoms and media group Millicom said on Wednesday it saw higher underlying revenue growth in 2017 versus last year, after posting fourth quarter profits above market forecasts.

* CFO Tim Pennington: "Our underlying revenue has got momentum behind it and if we take out the one-offs and we take a more positive view on Columbia, that's why we think we have the opportunity to see positive service revenue growth next year (2017)."

* "The million dollar question for us is what's going to happen on the mobile side of the business (in Columbia)... I think we have a few headwinds in the first half, I think it will be stronger in the second half."

* Millicom shares up 1.1 pct by 0947 GMT outperforming a 0.3 pct dip in Stockholm's all share index

* Company says the macroeconomic environment across Latin America was generally more stable towards the end of 2016, with only minor currency movements and some improvement in the broader economic indicators in some markets

* Sees organic service revenue growth in low single-digit range, adjusted EBITDA mid-to-high single-digit pct organic growth in 2017

* Sees capex in 2017 broadly in line with 2016

* Says by growing EBITDA, and targeting our investment programme, we expect to deliver operating cash flow growth in 2017 of around 10 pct

* Says "Whilst we expect robust competition in Colombia to continue, and voice and SMS revenues across Latam to decline further through 2017, the lower weighting of these within our overall mix, combined with further strong growth in our mobile data, home and B2B revenues, allows us to be more confident about our revenue growth outlook in 2017

* Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $566 mln vs $542 mln seen in Reuters poll

* Says to propose 2016 dividend of $2.64/share vs $2.49 seen in Reuters poll

Q4 revenue $1,594 million vs $1,603 mln seen in Reuters poll Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Olof Swahnberg and Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Simon Johnson)

Source: Reuters