Strong first quarter for 2degrees, more IPO detail ekes out

2degrees’ owner has confirmed plans to potentially list the Kiwi telco by year’s end, and added the extra detail that it would be a dual ASX/NZX listing.

“We have made progress with respect to a potential IPO of our New Zealand business and have begun preparations to list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange by the end of the year,” Trilogy International Partners said in a statement today.

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In a market filing, Trilogy said 2degrees’ ebitda increased US$6.8 million ($9.3m) or 26 per cent, over the Covid-hit first-quarter of 2020 to US32.9m. (The increase included a 13 per cent gain from currency movements)

The Seattle-based firm, whose Toronto-listed shares have been in the doldrums, is going through a major shakeup.

As well as the possible 2degrees listing, it has also put its other major asset, Bolivian NeuvaTel (trading as Viva), on the block.

NeuvalTel has been struggling in a politically unstable environment that has included government-mandated payment holidays on telco bills and other services during the pandemic.

The Bolivian telco continued to be a problem child for Trilogy, again dragging it into the red for the quarter as it reported an overall US$11.7m loss, against a US$17.3m loss for the year-ago period.

And while 2degrees’ revenue increased 24 per cent to US$134m for the three months to March 31, 2021, NeuvaTel’s sunk 21 per cent to US$35m.

Earlier this week,it had refinanced US$350m in debt, which had been due in May 2021, with new notes issued at 8.76 per cent that mature in May 2023.

In its first-quarter filing today, Trilogy said its long-term debt and financing lease liabilities stood at US$624.8m, a slight improvement on the year-ago US$630.8m

On Monday, 2degrees disclosed some of its full-year 2020 financials, saying it had clocked its fifth year of profit with underlying earnings that rose 6.5 per cent to $180m.

Net profit before tax was up 15 per cent to $32.9m (the company did not immediately supply an after-tax number).

Revenue from services increased 7.4 per cent to a record $545m, but total revenue – including handset revenue – fell 5.0 per cent to $700.1m.

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