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BTC announces Big dividend payout

Publishing Date : 04 July, 2018


Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited (BTCL), the country‘s home grown and only listed telecom giant continues to sow and maintain profitability amid a transformation stage and stiff competition from new industry entrants.

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed telecommunications group has declared a total dividend of 13.43 thebe per share for the 2017/18 trading year despite declined profits after tax for the year. This is increased dividend payable compared to 11.9 thebe per share paid in the previous financial year. The company recorded an 8% decrease in profit after tax to 217 million pula from P237 million in the previous year ended March 2017.

BTC Board Chair Lorato Boakgomo-Ntakhwana explained on Thursday when the company was presenting its financial performance that the Group reported a sound financial position and sustainable cash flow. “Despite our revenue contraction and consequently shrunk Profits after tax we are still sitting on very sound financial stance, the company has no debts, successfully managed cost during increased spending and declined revenue,” she said.

Ntakhwana further explained that it was under that backdrop that her board took a decision to pay their shareholders more. “We are making profits, our figures only declined because of clear increased expenditure due to  refurbishment of the head office, increased administrative expenses and other industry challenges  that are clearly attributable to our decline in profits, but the company collectively has more  money sitting in our reserves hence the increased dividends share,” explained Ntakhwana.

During the trading year under review the company registered a 3% decline in revenue to P1.567 billion from P1.615 billion compared to the previous year. Abel Bogatsu, BTC General Manager - Finance explained that BTC had registered higher administrative expenses of P440 million compared to P402 million in the previous year due to a number of in house infrastructure improvement and system upgrade at the company headquarters and service centres country wide.  

“We also recorded a P10m increase in the tax charge from prior year,” he said. The company’s Gross profit however grew by 3% due to 11% reduction in cost of sales to 601 million pula against 676m million pula in 2017. “We made significant savings on transmission and bandwidth costs on negotiated and competitive price offerings from our suppliers,” noted the Head of Finance at Megaleng House. Bogatsu further explained that the revenue decline was mainly attributable to pressure on mobile revenue observing that other revenue lines remained relatively flat.

“We however saw an increase in the uptake of data-centric products in line with market trends. The business during the year made P121million worth of investments in fixed broadband expansion and LTE/4G mobile broadband optimization to increase network coverage and enhance our value proposition,” he said. Total comprehensive income increased by 13% to P269m as a result of the revaluation of land and buildings which is done every 3 years.

BTC Managing Director  Anthony Masunga explained that during the trading year under review overall economic environment for the year was subdued, which led to the reduction in ICT spend from enterprises and government entities, with most entities negotiating for lower prices on new and existing services. “The slowdown in spending also impacted the consumer segments as households were faced with prioritizing their income on basic necessities,” he said.

Masunga also added that competition in the telecommunications sector continued to intensify with the entry of new internet service providers leading to a downward pressure on prices. “This had an impact on our performance for the year,” he said. Masunga observed that his company was still on a transition and transformation period. “We are still making alignments and adjusting to create a shrewd model we can better serve our customers and increase our share value,” he said.

He noted the company made investments to improve the work and retail environment adding that in the coming financial years BTC will start getting return on investment.  “This increased expenditure is expected to improve employee productivity, performance and customer experience. In response to technology trends, we have adopted modernized, faster and cheaper technologies which are aligned with our customer demands,” he said.



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