* America Movil net seen up 53 pct
* 4.64 million net new additions expected
* Company to report Monday after market close
MEXICO CITY, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Latin American cellphone operator America Movil is expected to post stronger sales and profits in the third quarter when it reports on Monday thanks to a pickup in new subscribers following the economic slump.
America Movil (AMXL.MX)(AMX.N), controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, probably had net profit of 19.015 billion pesos ($1.41 billion) in the July-September period, up 53 percent from the year-ago period, according to the average estimate of 12 analysts consulted by Reuters. Sales are expected to rise 15 percent in the quarter compared with the year-ago period.
As Latin America emerges from a deep downturn, America Movil likely signed up 4.64 million new clients in the third quarter, up from 3.7 million in the second quarter when the economic slump was at its worst, but still less than in the year-ago period.
Net additions will probably be driven by Brazil and Colombia rather than Mexico, which has been hit harder by the U.S. recession, said BBVA analyst Andres Coello.
Growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization will be helped by the weakness of Mexico’s peso MEX01 MXN= against Brazil’s currency during the quarter, analysts said.
Clients in Brazil account for about 20 percent of America Movil’s market across North America and South America, with Mexico accounting for 30 percent.
Santander analyst Gregorio Tomassi said a key indicator to watch for will be growth in revenues from data services as America Movil, Latin America’s leading cellphone operator, pushes clients to use more Internet and text messages.
Latin Americans in well-heeled neighborhoods such as Sao Paulo’s Jardins and Mexico City’s Polanco are increasingly surfing the Internet on Research in Motion Ltd’s RIM.TO BlackBerries and Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhones. But most people in the region continue to use much less expensive handsets on pay-as-you-go plans.
America Movil and rival Telefonica SA (TEF.MC) have both introduced prepaid plans for Internet access, charging about $32 for a month of broadband access in Mexico from a mobile phone or laptop computer.
America Movil has operations in 17 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. =============================================================== 2009 2008 Percent
JUL-SEP JUL-SEP Chg ———————————————————————————————- (in pesos) Revenues 97.725 bln 85.335 bln +14.52 pct EBITDA 39.848 bln 34.865 bln +14.29 pct Operating Profit 28.461 bln 24.708 bln +15.19 pct Net Profit 19.015 bln 12.404 bln +53.29 pct Net Adds 4.64 mln 7.30 mln -36.49 pct =============================================================== ($1 = 13.5035 pesos at end of September) (Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Andre Grenon)