Cell C has reduced its net loss after tax in the first half of the 2018 financial year by 33% to R645-million on the back of an 11% improvement in service revenue to R6.9-billion. Total revenue rose 5% to R7.8-billion.
Publication of the mobile operator’s results for the six months to 30 June 2018 comes a day before 45% shareholder Blue Label Telecoms releases its financial results for the year to 31 May 2018.
Data revenue at Cell C was R3-billion, up 20% on a year ago on the back of a 62% increase in data traffic. Average revenue per user was R72, up 3% and supported by a 9% uplift in contract Arpu.
Cell C said gross profit improved by 12% to R4.3-billion, with the margin rising from 52% to 55%.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation — a measure of operational profitability — rose by 16% to R2.4-billion, lifting Ebitda margin from 28% a year ago to 31%.
Total active subscribers grew by 4% to 16.3 million, helped by a 31% improvement in the number of mobile virtual network operator customers — from partners such as MRP Mobile and FNB Connect — from 1.3 million to 1.7 million.
It said its revenue market share was 12.6%, compared to 50.6% for market leader Vodacom and 32% for second-placed MTN. It said it has outstripped overall market growth in service revenue for the past three years.
The operator’s fibre-to-the-home proposition did well, with a 340% increase in subscribers to 16 425. C-Fibre revenue was R62-million, up from R13-million a year ago.
Following Cell C’s recapitalisation, its long-term debt was R6.4-billion at the end of June, down from R17.9-billion a year ago. However, short-term debt rose to R1.5-billion from R417-million previously. Debt related to leases was R5.5-billion, up from R5.1-billion. Net debt including leases was R12.7-billion, down from R23.3-billion. Total interest payments in the half-year amounted to R952-million (previously R1.1-billion).
Cell C raised a new rand-denominated debt facility of R1.4-billion following its half-year results and said it is in the process of raising another R1.4-billion in vendor financing and a further R1-billion in “shareholder support”. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media