Competition in the telecommunication sector is reportedly continuing to intensify as new players enter the market at different levels of the industry’s value chain. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) CEO Anthony Masunga said on Thursday during the announcement of the company’s financial results for a six-month period ended September 30, 2017. Masunga said the increase in players has been spurred by the new licensing framework but he said the competition presents BTC with partnership opportunities. “The intense competition has also put pressure on the mobile market which is experiencing high churn rates and margin squeeze,” said Masunga. Masunga said the company will continue to look for opportunities, mainly in the broadband space where penetration is still very low while the demand for data services is high. “We expect positive results from our 4G service, which we introduced in most urban and peri urban areas around the country,” he said. As a former parastatal, Masunga said BTC will continue with its transformation journey, focusing on network, commercial and cultural transformation.
During the half year period which has seen the company’s share price on the stock market skyrocket, BTC registered profit after tax of P98 million which is an increase of 12 percent from P88 million recorded in the same period last year. Revenue during the period went up by 2 percent while cost of sales declined by 11 percent leading to an increase in gross profit of 11 percent. Total revenue recorded is P794.9 million from P776.3 million last year during the same period. Masunga said the company spent P124 million as investments in new systems, infrastructure modernization and expansion all of which were financed internally. He said liquidity remains strong with Zero gearing with cash balances at P487 million, sufficient to finance the operations and capital expenditure programme of the company. Revenue from the fixed stream has reportedly gone up by 2 percent while mobile was flat at P295 million as subscriber base remained flat too while data stream went up by 5 percent with selling and distribution costs falling by 15 percent. On the day – November 30 – the company share price edged up by two Thebe to sell at an all-time high of 176 Thebe per share.