Cable & Wireless’ parent company, Liberty Global, recorded operating losses of around US$202 million in its Latin America and Caribbean markets during the third quarter of this year, due in large part to damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, according to the company’s Q3 financial results.
The Latin America and Caribbean business’ revenue was about US$908 million, which was a slight growth over Q3 of last year. The operating losses were primarily incurred to Liberty Global incurring impairment charges – write-offs of goodwill and other intangible assets – due to the storms.
“Based on our initial estimates of the impacts on our operations from these hurricanes, we recorded impairment charges to reduce the carrying values of our goodwill, property and equipment and other indefinite-lived intangible assets during the third quarter of 2017,” Liberty Global stated in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. “It is possible that further impairment charges will be required as additional information becomes available regarding the impacts of the hurricanes on our networks.”
Liberty Global estimated that Irma and Maria caused it to lose out on US$19 million and US$3 million in Puerto Rico and its damaged Caribbean markets – primarily the British Virgin Islands and Dominica – respectively.
The company projected that the impact of the hurricanes will continue to dampen its finances this quarter and beyond due to lost revenue from the devastated jurisdictions, as well as rebuilding efforts.
The company estimated that it will cost about US$100 million to repair its Puerto Rico network, and that it will lose another US$80-100 million in revenue in Q4. In the damaged Caribbean markets, it will have to spend about US$50 million to repair its networks, and will lose US$15-25 million this quarter.
Those losses could be mitigated by insurance payments of up to US$75 million per hurricane, according to the company’s SEC filings.
However, the company stated that it does not expect to receive insurance payments by the end of the year.
Despite the losses, Liberty Global stated that it was committed to rebuilding the impacted jurisdictions. The company noted in its results that it has raised more than US$1.8 million to assist with relief efforts, and has been offering free wifi spots in Puerto Rico.