Telkom has a more than a million broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) users for the first time.
The telecommunications operator revealed on Monday that it had cracked this number in its financial year ended 31 March 2015. Telkom introduced DSL in South Africa in August 2002.
At the end of March, Telkom had 1 005 286 DSL subscribers on its books, an improvement of 7,9% from a year ago.
The growth helped the group improve fixed-line data revenue by 1,5% to R10,4bn for its 2015 financial year.
However, the number of fixed lines in service has continued to decline, reaching levels last seen nearly 25 years ago. At the end of March, Telkom has 3,4m lines in service, down from 3,6m a year ago.
Despite this, the numbers form part of a broadly positive set of results from the operator, which reported 15,1% improvement in normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of R9bn.
On a like-for-like basis — excluding items that do not form part of the results from normal business operations — net revenue increased by 3,1% to R26bn, while group costs fell by 1,2% to R17,7bn.
The retail mobile business was the star of the show, increasing its net revenues by 174,1% to R954m.
This was countered by a poor, but not unexpected, decline in fixed-line voice revenues, driven by a fall-off in usage by large business customers.
Revenue from leased lines also remained under severe pressure, declining by 22% to R1,4bn.
Group free cash flow was a healthy R3,9bn. Telkom is now almost debt free, with net debt falling by 92,8% to just R151m.
“Our healthy financial position will not only allow us to take advantage of any promising opportunities that could come our way, it has also made it possible for us to pay a dividend this year,” said CEO Sipho Maseko.
Telkom will pay a final dividend of R2,15/share and a special dividend of 30c/share.
“Our strong financial position and healthy cash balances warrant a special dividend of 30c/share as we reintroduce dividend payments for the first time since 2011,” Maseko said. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media