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BTCL Banks On Mobile Revenues For Growth

PAULINE DIKUELO
BTCL shares results announcement.PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) is optimistic that revenues from its mobile operations will drive its growth by four percent in the coming financial year. This is after the corporation has recorded a loss in the 2015/2016 financial year.

BTCL recorded a loss of P371million in the year ended March 2016 from P147 million profit that was recorded in the past financial year.

The loss was attributed to an impairment exercise performed during the year 2016 which represented a write-down of some property, plant and equipment due to technology changes, which is in line with global trends.

Speaking during the briefing last week, the general manager finance Abel Bogatsu said that they have invested in the mobile phones towards end of the year and are expecting to yield from that the coming financial year.

“We have contracted some mobile companies and expect them to generate significant revenue for the corporation revenues for the next financial year,” he said.

In addition, he said that mobile and fixed data services are expected to continue to anchor growth in the short to medium term. According to Bogatsu, the company has embraced the need to stringently manage costs as revenue growth continues to come under pressure, so as to sustain profitability levels.

“The company’s fixed and wholesale revenue are expected to stabilise following the slowing down

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of the recent huge price decreases,” he added.

Cash at year-end stood at P390 million, which with the P250 million raised through the subscription portion of the IPO, positions the company strongly in delivering the strategy.

According to outgoing BTCL managing director, Paul Taylor, the corporation has re-focused its strategy to embrace driving growth in mobile, broadband and bundled products and services, so as to deliver. “Our capital budget sees significant expenditure being made on driving out new higher speed mobile technologies, deploying a wider geographical footprint for terrestrial broadband, simplifying our IT systems and removing obsolescence from the network,” he said.

Taylor noted that the brand is strong, something the corporation will capitalise on in the next coming months as they will be launching a new single brand family for all their products and services.

BTCL also approved a dividend of five thebe per share, which over three months since listing represents a dividend yield of five percent on the offer price of P1,00. Revenues ended the year slightly ahead of the forecast in the prospectus at P1.5 billion.



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