Monday, July 4, 2022

BTCL Chairman looking forward to AGM with cautious optimism

GABORONE – The BTCL chairman, Daphne Matlakala, said Thursday that she is expecting tough questions from the shareholders of the company at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

BTCL is expected to host its first AGM in September 2016 since listing on the local bourse some three months ago. Some of the issues expected to be discussed at the upcoming AGM are the poor financial performance of the company as well as the departure of its outgoing Managing Director Paul Taylor. Taylor helped the BTCL to go through its Initial Public Offering (IPO) process which ended in April 2016.  

“We are looking forward to the AGM in September but expecting hard questions from the shareholders,” Matlakala remarked at the company’s presentation of financial statements at the Masa Centre in Gaborone Thursday morning. 

The telecommunication giant reported on Thursday that it has swung to a P371 million loss in 2016 from a profit of P147 million recorded in 2015. The poor run by the BSE quoted company has been attributed to impairments exercise that the company performed during the year that ended 31 March 2016. 

On Thursday, the outgoing managing director admitted that there were a number of technical adjustments made to the BTCL accounts as a result of the audit process, “most notably the impairment charge at P522 million compared to an expectation in the prospectus of P306 million”. 

According to the BTCL listing prospectus, an indicative impairment charge of P306 million was anticipated, however the company financials show that it recorded impairment adjustment of P322 million during the year under review. 

The BTCL financials also indicate that it’s operating costs excluding impairment charge increased by 11 percent from P1.345 billion to P1.487 billion. The increase has been attributed to accelerated depreciation of network assets and an increase in mobile handset subsidy. 

Apart from issues relating to financials, BTCL shareholders are likely to question the board on Employee shares scheme. BTCL executives said Thursday that the issue remains unresolved. 

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