Telkom Group revenue was down 1,6% to R20,109-billion for the six months to 30 September 2017.
Net operating revenue of R15,791-billion was down 0,9%, with EBIDTA of R5,201-billion down 1,9%. Information technology revenue of R3,652-billion was down 3,3%.
BEPS was down 7% to 316,9 cents for share and HEPS is 303,9 cents per share, down 7,4%.
Mobile service revenue showed good growth, up 43,2% to R2,282-billion, and data revenue increased 9,7% to R6,507-billion.
Group CEO Sipho Maseko comments: “The first half of the year was characterised by a tough economic environment and increased competition. We saw corporate businesses defer their spend on information, communication and technology (ICT) as a result of an uncertain political, economic and policy environment.
“Even though South Africa exited the technical recession in the second quarter of the year, business confidence remains very low, with a lack of appetite for investment by corporate businesses.
“Lower spend from government placed a further damper on ICT spend in the public sector.”
He says Telkom Group performance was negatively impacted by the challenging economic environment. “BCX was mainly impacted as it is exposed to corporate businesses and the public sector which are both under pressure.
“In the short-term BCX has accelerated cross selling opportunities across the customer base, ensuring that we retain our customers.”
The mobile business growth trajectory continued in the period with strong growth in active customers and stable ARPUs resulting in an increase of 43,2% in mobile service revenue.
“The strong mobile growth which boosted group’s performance was underpinned by an expansion of our network, distribution and the launch of innovative products which were well received by our customers,” Maseko says.
He adds that Openserve continued its journey of transforming and modernising the network. “We expanded the fibre ecosystem with the purpose of stimulating the digital economy.
“Improved processes and efficiencies led to an increase in the connectivity rate of the homes passed. In the first half of the year, we connected more than 40% of homes passed while the active connectivity rate for the entire base is 24,5%.
“With a strong focus on bringing value to our customers, Openserve has brought prices down in the past 12 to 18 months with the recent 25% price reduction in IP Connect in the first half of the year.”
Investment in key growth areas, such as fibre and mobile, remains imperative to ensure that Telkom is focused on its medium and long-term strategy, Maseko adds.
“We remain cognisant of the group revenue pressure and we are diligent in ensuring that we continue to invest on a sustainable basis to improve our returns.
“We are encouraged by the strong growth in demand in mobile and fibre investments.”
The new IT platform and the digitalisation of stores has assisted Telkom in improving customer experience, Maseko adds.
“We continue to enhance our engagement models with our corporate customers. With our advanced internal data analytics services, we are able to have faster access to higher quality information that allows us to have a more proactive approach in managing our network, thereby enhancing our decision making in a timeous manner.
“We will continue to improve our fulfilling and assurance processes.”