Tue, 22 Oct 2019

The number of Multichoice subscribers from the rest of Africa has - for the first time - surpassed local users, the company said on Tuesday as it presented its maiden financial results after listing on the JSE.

The company said subscriber numbers from the rest of the Africa increased to 7.7m, higher than 7.4m South African clients.

"A total of 1.6m subscribers were added across the continent, representing 12% year-on-year growth, taking the overall active subscriber base to 15.1m subscribers."

Multichoice listed on the JSE on February 27, after unbundling from Naspers and the financial statements are its first time reporting as a stand-alone business. Prior to the listing, its results were consolidated within Naspers group as part of the video-entertainment segment.

The financial statements showed that subscription revenue went up 7% to R41.2bn, driven by growth from the rest of the continent and a "healthy contribution from South Africa".

Core headline earnings, the board's measure of sustainable business performance, was up 10% at R1.8bn, while revenue jumped 6% to R50.1bn for the year to 31 March.

The South African business delivered subscriber growth of 8% year-on-year, generating R33.7bn revenues, up 3% from last year.

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"The premium segment remained under pressure as consumers were impacted by rising fuel and other costs, and we competed for share of wallet," said the company.

As a result, average revenue per user (ARPU) declined from R335 to R322 due to the ongoing change in subscriber mix towards the mass market, said the company.

Trading profit was in line with the prior year at R10.2bn. The company declared no dividend, as stated in the pre-listing statement.

However, it said the group remained on track to declare a dividend of R2.5bn, or 569 cents per share for 2020.

Multichoice operates in 50 countries, and the company said it will continue its pursuit for online products, particularly in South Africa.

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