Cell C's positive results bolstered by subscriber growth

2018-02-20 20:28
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Johannesburg - Mobile network provider Cell C’s service revenue jumped 12% to R13.2bn with a total revenue increase of 7% to R15.7bn for the year ending December 2017.

The company’s positive results were bolstered by a subscriber growth of 6% to 16.3 million active users. 

Cell C’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 151% to R7.8bn with net profit of R4.1bn, growing 660% year-on-year.

The strong results come at the tail-end of the company’s turnaround strategy after recapitalisation was finalised when Blue Label Telecom’s [JSE:BLU] wholly-owned subsidiary, The Prepaid Company, became a 45% shareholder in R6bn of the issued share capital of Cell C, with a further subscription from Net1 [JSE:NT1] for R2bn.

In November, Blue Label announced that Cell C reported a R588m net loss in its interim results for 2017, during an investor roadshow by the company. 

“While our turnaround strategy was put in place in 2012, the recapitalisation of Cell C last year has really allowed us to create a strong foundation for the business. Our plans now are to build out this strategy and really accelerate our growth and investment going forward,” Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said. 

Cell C’s mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) strategy and the growth in the wholesale division has also been a key contributor to revenue growth, with wholesale revenue increasing by 79% to R717m.

Data revenue increased by 29% and data usage increased by 90% year-on-year. 

The number of smartphones on the Cell C network increased by 21% year-on-year to 9.2 million devices and the company’s current active data customers increased to 12.6 million.

“Data usage per customer continues to grow off the back of the continued decreased cost per MB of data on the Cell C Network, which dropped by more than 36% year-on-year. We are also seeing more customers moving from feature devices to smart devices, partly due to the increased affordability of smartphones, especially company branded devices,” Dos Santos said.

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