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Digicel grows online revenue despite recession !!! !

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king Written by jamaica-gleaner.com

There are, as it turns out, profitable lessons to be learned - and in some cases savoured - in a recession.
For Digicel, it was that customers like service that is convenient - and that ATMs and other electronic sales points delivered that for its clients.

Consequently, the mobile provider is reporting a 15 per cent increase in customer use of the Internet and points-of-sale outlets to top up their call credit across all 24 markets in the region, a development that is helping to cut production and distribution costs.

"We have been pushing the use of electronic recharge across all our markets and across the group. We now see 48 per cent of our top-up coming from electronic channels compared to 33 per cent a year ago," Digicel Jamaica chief executive officer, Mark Lineham, said late last week.

The Digicel boss told a business and finance forum in Kingston that growing revenue in the current economic environment hadbeen challenging, as financial constraints being faced by consumers were being reflected in a sales slowdown.

"Like many companies across many industries, one has to be focused on delivering revenues while at the same time controlling its costs, especially in these current times, to ensure one stays profitable," Linehan said.

"So, it becomes all the more important to focus on every line item of costs in order to ensure that you are maximising the returns you can get from the business."

11 recharge methods

Digicel's income grew 11 per cent to US$1.73 billion for the financial year ending March 2009.

Subscriber numbers have grown by nine per cent to over 7.1 million, with Jamaica accounting for about two million of that number.

In Jamaica, the company said it added 29,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter.

Digicel has 11 different methods to recharge phone credit, including physical cards, vouchers, Internet, points of sale, automatic banking machines and telephone top-ups. Bills for post-paid accounts can be settled electronically or at any Pay Master, Bill Express, Jamaica National or Prime Trust outlet.

The mobile firm says physical cards and top-up at points-of-sale machines are responsible for the bulk of top-up sales, with voucher sales having seen a year-on-year increase of six per cent.

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