BTC’s strategy to make it an integrated telecommunications company has bore fruit as its turnover went up last year at the back of the growth in the mobile division, which was not incorporating into the previous financial results.
The group’s results for the year ended March, 31, 2011 showed its net sales went up 11.3 percent from P958.4 million to P1.065 billion with profit for the year growing by 25 percent to P227.4 million.
Its balance sheet has over P1.9 billion worth of assets while the Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes and Armotisation (EBIDTA) grew by P20 million to P371.6 million.
The BTC Chief Executive Officer, Paul Taylor, said the performance makes the company attractive to privatisation and will offer value for investors.
“This is a significant milestone and shows that the corporation is making progress towards being a single, focused and integrated company geared towards sustainable profitability,” Taylor said.
The corporation, which is 100 percent owned by government of Botswana, operates three divisions: BTC Fixed, which is the landline division, beMOBILE, a cellphone company and Botsnet, the broadband division.
BTC Fixed is currently a monopoly while the other divisions are facing stiff competition from peers in the market, especially the mobile phone division that faces challenges from the established Masco Wireless and Orange.
The group attributed the growth in profits to higher revenues from new sources such as mobile, data and networks increasing together with stabilisation of traditional fixed and voice lines.
However, BTC said it expected operating environment in 2011/12 to be tough as a result of continued weak recovery of world economy.
But, it said, it expected to see revenues rising further as data and related products are economic enablers.
“By next year, almost half of BTC revenue is expected to come from data related products,” said Taylor.
“We expect all major customer groups to increase internet usage, which will drive further growth in broadband/ data service.”
As a result of high revenues, BTC managed to clear its debt while also managing to pay P57 million dividend to government. The dividend is the highest in the history of the corporation and is P11 million higher than the one paid last year.
Board Chairman Leonard Makwinja said the performance of the company is in good stead to unlock shareholder value and the potential shareholders once the privatisation exercise is complete.
BTC will follow a privatisation model in which 49 percent is sold to investors through an IPO and employees of the corporation while government will retain 51 percent.
Shares will be sold to citizens in stages on the condition that when investors wish to dispose of their shares, the government will have the first option to buy them back.