Telkom: revenue down, expenses up

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The incumbent telecom operator’s annual report for the year ending March 2013 is out today, and it’s a bit of a mixed one for our friends at Telkom. The firm wrote off over R12bn of value in its legacy network earlier this week – which it includes in its tax position but not in its headline announcements – and officially made an R11.73bn loss for the year.

Even accounting for the write down, however, basic revenue was down by R549m to R33.12bn for the last 12 months, while expenses outside of all amortisation costs were up nearly R700m.

While that’s obviously not good news for Telkom, and it’s not paying a dividend this year, there are signs of promise in the figures released with the report.

Excluding the write down, Telkom has declared an overall profit after tax of R501m.

The biggest operating problem facing the company is loss of voice call revenue, and the number of fixed line subscribers are down by nearly 5%, while lucrative ‘Supreme call subscribers’ have fallen by over 18%. Even in mobile, the number of people on active contracts has dropped by 15.3% to 375 938.

Where’s that good news? It’s in – obviously – data. Telkom now has 651 LTE base stations on its network, and pre-paid customers are spending – on average – 14.7% more every month. ADSL numbers are up too – which is a big relief for the firm as they were previously in decline.

There are 63 000 more ADSL lines now than there were a year ago, bringing the total number to 870 505.

The company has also managed to reduce its debt by 46%, and increased its cash balance sheet to R2 384m. Cautiously promising, we’d say.

Now, we just need to get rid of that ridiculous extra charge for ADSL, don’t we?

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.