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América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V. (AMOV)
Q4 2011 Earnings Call
February 10, 2012 - 10:00 a.m. ET
Daniel Hajj Aboumrad – Chief Executive Officer
Carlos García Moreno Elizondo – Chief Financial Officer
Óscar Von Hauske Solís – Chief Executive Officer, Telmex Internacional
Carlos Robles – Chief Financial Officer, Telmex Internacional
Daniela Lecuona Torras – Investor Relations
Tomás Lajous – UBS Casa de Bolsa, S.A. de C.V.
Michel Morin – Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC
Ric Prentiss – Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
Vera Rossi – Barclays Capital, Inc.
Walter Piecyk – BTIG, LLC
Richard Dineen – HSBC Securities USA, Inc.
Stanley Martinez – Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc.
James E. Ratzer – New Street Research, LLP
Gil Alexandre – Darphil Associates
Andrés Medina Mora – GBM Research
Jim Breen – William Blair & Co., LLC
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I'd now like to turn the call over to your host today, Mr. Tomás Lajous, please begin.
Tomás Lajous – UBS Casa de Bolsa, S.A. de C.V.
Good morning. This is Tomás Lajous from UBS, and thank you everybody for being on the call. So, welcome to AMX's fourth quarter 2011 conference call. We have today on the line Daniel Hajj, CEO of AMX; Carlos García Moreno, CFO; Óscar Von Hauske, COO, and [Carlos Robles and Daniela Lecuona] [ph].
With this, I'll just turn the call right over to AMX and then we can move on to the Q&A.
Daniel Hajj Aboumrad
Thank you, Tomás. Thank you everyone. Carlos, as always, is going to make summary of the results.
Carlos García Moreno Elizondo
Thank you, Tomás for hosting the call. Good morning, everyone.
In spite of the increased uncertainty experienced worldwide in the last quarter of 2011 with high financial volatility stemming from the European crisis and a still weak U.S. economy, the tone of the Latin American markets continued to be strong throughout the end of the year. América Móvil thus posted a 13% increase in gross wireless subscriber additions in that quarter relative to the prior year, hitting a record in Brazil at nearly 10 million and continuing strong in Mexico with 9.1 million.
América Móvil finished the year with 300 million accesses, of which 242 million were wireless subscribers, and 58 million were revenue generating units on the fixed-line platform. We added 16.7 million subs in 2011, including 304,000 subs in the fourth quarter. The latter figure reflects the connections affected in the period after the introduction of a change in the methodology used to count for subscriber statistics in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador.
In particular, we are now excluding from the subscriber number those lines that have not had any air-time recharge during the second period, the churn period. In the absence of the change in methodology, we would have posted lower churn rate in all three countries relative to the fourth quarter of 2010. We continued making inroads in the postpaid segment across our operations, adding 1.6 million subs in the fourth quarter and 6.1 million in the full year.
Our postpaid base increased to 20.5% in 2011, except for Panama. In all our operations, the postpaid base increased more rapidly than the prepaid one. Our RGUs, revenue generating units, rose 12.3%, driven by a 15.6% increase in broadband accesses and a 33.1% jump in pay TV revenues. The number of landlines increased 3.4%. Our fourth quarter revenues totaled 182 billion pesos. They were 12.3% higher than the year before with wireless revenues, which account for two-thirds of the total, expanding 15.4%.
These figures reflect, in part, the impact of the sharp depreciation in this quarter of the Mexican peso vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar and other Latin American currencies. At constant exchange rates, and after adjusting for certain reclassifications corresponding to 2010, the quarter's revenues increased 8.6% from the year before at a time when a significant part of the world is facing a recession. EBITDA came in at 65.4 billion pesos and was up 3.9% from a year before, the best rate achieved in 2011, with strong increases in the Andean countries, offsetting small declines in other countries.
EBITDA was held back somewhat by subscriber acquisition costs that remained high in the wireless and pay TV space, and by expenses associated with the integration of the fixed and mobile networks, and more generally with our vast investment program. Our operating profit increased 15.1% from the year before to 38.3 billion pesos, partly as a result of 9.7% reduction in depreciation charges, since at the end of 2010 we had booked extraordinary charges as we began to integrate the fixed and mobile platforms after the acquisition of Telmex Internacional.
The depreciation of the peso in the quarter, and the increase in net debt throughout the year as we purchased stock of Telmex and other entities, brought about an increase in our comprehensive financing costs, which totaled 11.1 billion pesos and were an important factor in the reduction of our net income to 16.3 billion pesos. Whereas in the last quarter of 2010, we had posted significant foreign exchange gains. In the fourth quarter of 2011, we raised an even greater foreign exchange losses and that is playing for the most part showing a net profit.