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SunCom shrinks losses in Q4

SunCom Wireless Holdings Inc. boosted its average revenue per user, cut operating costs and gained subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2006, but still posted an overall loss for the period. However, the net loss of about $39 million was much less than the $196 million loss the carrier posted during the same quarter of 2005.
SunCom’s ARPU was up 6 percent year-over-year to $55.17, due to higher access revenues and an increase in feature revenue, according to the regional carrier. SunCom, which operates in the southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, gained 41,609 net customers during the fourth quarter and ended the year with nearly 1.1 million subscribers. On average, nearly 762,000 of those customers were in the United States and about 305,000 were in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The carrier also managed to cut its churn rate from 2.7 percent in 2005’s fourth quarter to 2.4 percent during the same period in 2006.
SunCom’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $30.8 million for the fourth quarter, a substantial improvement from an EBITDA loss of $13.6 million during 2005’s fourth quarter. Net cash used for operating activities was down to $28.5 million from $32.8 million, and service revenue was up more than 19 percent year-over-year to about $179 million.
SunCom’s roaming revenues declined 5.7 percent from 2005’s fourth quarter; roaming generated $21.2 million for the company in the fourth quarter of 2006, down from $22.5 million during the same period in the previous year.

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