Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTCL) has reported a decline in profit after tax (PAT) for the half-year ended 30 September 2020. The PAT closed the six month period at P77 million, down 8% when compared with the prior-year period.
The decline in profitability was due to a rise in support costs which were impacted by unfavorable currency movements, trade receivables impairment as well as a significant increase in depreciation.
However, EBITDA increased by 7% to P212 million for the period under review with a margin expansion of 2%. This EBITDA growth and improvement in working capital partially offset by capital expenditure spend led to an increase in cash of P61 million. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Management said in the financial results that the company has delivered resilient performance amid COVID-19 lockdown pressure for the half-year ended 30 September 2020.
The Group has reported revenue of P712 million, which is a decline of 1% when compared with the same period the previous year. The major contributor to the decline in revenue was the fixed voice call segment, which has been heavily impacted by the 2 months lockdown at the onset of the new reporting period, as well as increasing migration of customers to lower-priced data services stream over fixed and mobile networks.
Both fixed data and mobile data contributed to an increasing proportion of the total revenue. With the growing and changing needs of the digital business during this half-year of reporting as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic, most companies increased the demand for data products that are faster and give real-time solutions for employees working from homes.
The gross profit was level with the prior year driven by lower costs of sales, resulting from the reduction in costs associated with the voice revenue which has declined during this reporting period.