Group MD Anthony Masunga says the profit growth was driven by increase in revenue and robust cost reduction strategies accelerating EBITDA to P463 million, consequently leading to an increase in cash.
Cash and cash equivalents significantly increased by 204 percent from P120 million in the prior year to P364 million as at the end of March 2021. Masunga explains that the increase was driven by a positive cash conversion ratio of 52 percent as well as favourable working capital resulting from implementation of debt collection measures during the year. “The healthy cash balance enabled us to finance further expansion of our mobile data network and replacement of traditional copper network with fibre in order to support the needs of our customers,” he says adding that “the uptake of our data products has been increasing with the improving quality of service leading to increased revenues as voice revenues flatten / decline”.
The beginning of the financial year saw the implementation of the new three-year strategy, which is focused on the strengthening of the core business, optimising efficiencies and return on assets, in addition to pursuing growth opportunities. The start of the financial year coincided with the implementation of the national measures to contain the COVID-19 virus leading to national lockdowns. BTC MD Anthony Masunga says the national lockdown placed pressure on performance for the first half of the year. “However, we have since seen a decent recovery in our financial performance year on year.” He says the pandemic however has emphasised that telecommunications data services underpinned by reliable high speed connectivity are an absolute necessity for businesses and households. “This is necessary to enable the shift towards work-from-home, e-education, e-commerce and other services to support digital transformation”.
The Group has reported revenue of P1.43 billion, which is a one percent increase when compared with the prior year. Masunga explained that this increase in revenue was driven by the monetisation of significant investments in fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure in support of high-speed internet service at homes and offices across most parts of the country.