Friday, July 30, 2021

BTCL swings to losses on high impairments

Newly Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed, BTCL, on Thursday said it swung to a P371 million loss in 2016 from a profit of P147 million recorded in 2015. 

The poor run by the telecommunications giant has been attributed to impairments exercise that the company performed during the year according to the outgoing Managing Director Paul Taylor.  

The company’s financial statements released to the markets late Wednesday shows that its full year loss for the year ended 31 March 2016 stood at P371 million from a profit of P147 million recorded in 2015. At the same time, the company’s listing prospectus indicated that its directors anticipated operating loss of P164 million. The prospectus figures also reflected an anticipated loss of P127 million after taxation. 

On Thursday Taylor said 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. 

Meanwhile, despite the loss, Taylor said the company will pay out a dividend of 5 thebe per share to its shareholders which include the government, institutions, workers and individual investors. 

 “The board has approved a dividend of the 5 thebe per share. This over the three months since listing represents a dividend yield of 5 percent on the offer price of P1,” Taylor said. 

Taylor also said that BTCL’s cash position is very strong which will allow the company to focus on revenue generating investments going forward. The company’s financials show that its cash balance stood at P390 million by end of March 2016. 

A carefully crafted statement read by Taylor on Thursday stated that the cash balance included the P250 million raised through the subscription portion of the Initial Public Offering (IPO). 

The BTCL IPO which was carried about three months ago also saw an unprecedented majority of offers made by individuals, with over 90 percent of the 462,000,000 accepted offers received from individuals and citizen owned companies. The company sold its shares at an IPO price of P1 per share and is currently trading P1.10 per share. 

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