Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has made a profit of P86 million for the six months period ending September 30, 2018, representing a 12 per cent decline from the previous year which stood at P 98 million.
BTC Managing Director Anthony Masunga when giving overview of BTC unaudited interim financial results said the mobile revenue profit decline is the major reason why the company registered a 12% profit margin decline for the period. Total revenue also went down 11 % decline in revenue to P704 million as compared to last year’s P794 million. Meanwhile, the company’s total assets reached P2.4 billion.
Masunga said changes that occurred in the operating environment such as the regulatory framework which came with pressure to reduce tariffs have initiated the decline in sales, although the mobile subscriber base increased by 4%.
“The overall decline in revenue is mainly attributable to challenges facing mobile business, during the first quarter year between (April and June 2018), we experienced some teething problems relating to the migration of mobile customer accounts to the new converged billing system,” Masunga said.
The problems encountered as result of migration of mobile customer accounts include; compromised product performance which led to compromised customer experience. However, the challenges have been resolved through launching new innovative products and services such as Live Social and My Conneck bundles with the latter leading to an increase in uptake of mobile data services.
He said the inflation forecast which is predicted to rise by 3.7 % in the year will further cripple the sales as consumers’ buying power will decline. On the mobile market phase, he said, the BTC mobile subscriber rose up by 4% whereas the BTC subscriber market share remains unchanged standing at 16% rate.
Masunga said BTC, through its strategic plan, is keen on technology transformation with a budget of P500 to P600 million set aside with the aim of constructing modernised Telecommunications infrastructure.
BTC General Manager – Finance Abel Bogatsu noted the mobile revenue has declined by 34% which is a 4% variation from the 2018 rate of 38% but he remained optimistic that the sales situation will improve based on the innovative and technological investment routes they are keen on implementing.
“Our revenue analysis is drawn from three areas of fixed data, mobile business and fixed voice. We experienced a decline in mobile business which remains large profit contributing segment, and we are now looking into turning around the fixed business which we are confident it will also grow and is capable of generating revenue as well,” Bogatsu said.
Bogatsu said the company has managed to control the operation costs by bringing it down by 11% to P619 million from P697 million from 2017 as a result of a 19% decline in administrative costs.