Telkom Reports 19% Increase in Mobile Subscribers

Telkom South Africa has revealed its interim results for the six months ending 30 September 2020. The telco was driven by a 19% increase in mobile subscribers – reaching 13.7 million – to claim the position of South Africa’s third mobile operator.

Telkom delivered solid EBITDA growth despite a slight revenue decrease of 0.4% to R21.4 billion in the face of difficult trading conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Telkom’s decision to invest in infrastructure ahead of demand enabled us to meet the surge in demand and weather the acceleration of the decline in fixed voice revenue during the national lockdown,” says Sipho Maseko, Telkom Group CEO.

Telkom Mobile expanded margin by 13.2 ptts to 29.9%, optimised direct cost to revenue ratio from 53% in the prior period to 38% and more than doubled its EBITDA to R2.9 billion.

Mobile data traffic is up 81%, a significant increase attributable to the increase of people working from home and online schooling due to the national lockdown.

“Telkom Mobile has performed exceptionally well, despite the negative impact of the national lockdown on parts of our business,” says Maseko.

BCX and SMB saw a decline of 11.3% and 25% respectively, driven by a decline in enterprise fixed voice revenues. The decrease in fixed voice volumes also impacted Openserve negatively with revenue declining by 13.6%, a shift driven by 22.7% decline in fixed voice revenue compared to the prior period. Despite this, Openserve maintained the highest connectivity rate in the market through improved fibre to the home connectivity rate from 43.6% in the prior year to 53.8%.

Gyro masts and towers revenue increased 7.7% to R628 million despite the slowdown in the permitting and construction process due to the national lockdown.

“We are pleased with a solid set of results in a year where growth was challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic that strained the South African economy. These results reflect the quality and dedication of our people and business partners,” concludes Maseko.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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