Digicel Group, the mobile services company controlled by billionaire Denis O’Brien, saw first-quarter earnings slide on currency swings, according to Bloomberg.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation slid 8% because of unfavourable foreign exchange rates during the first three months of its financial year from the year-earlier period, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified as the details were not yet public.

Bloomberg reports that on a constant currency basis, earnings rose 5%.

“Digicel doesn’t publish quarterly earnings but we’re very pleased with underlying first-quarter performance in local currency,” the company said in an e-mail response to questions.

“Digicel’s outlook remains positive as we monetise our substantial network investment of recent years,” it added.

Digicel cancelled a planned initial public offering last year, citing volatility in equity markets.

The company will probably hold off on a share sale for at least a year to 18 months, Mr O’Brien said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in May.

He also said at that time that Digicel remains “highly profitable” and plans to keep investing heavily, including through acquiring other businesses.

Mr O’Brien’s mobile-phone empire spreads from El Salvador to Vanuatu, built partly on the back of high-risk, high-yield debt.

A gauge of borrowings, adjusted net debt/L2QA EBITDA, rose to 5.69x at end June from 5.32x at end March, the people said.