Telkom has published its interim financial results for the past six months, a period starting on 1 April and ending on 30 September 2021. During this period, it accumulated a flat group revenue of R21.3 billion, with its mobile arm doing most of the heavy lifting.
When we reported on the company’s 2020 results, it was clear that South Africans were increasingly relying on mobile connections. This trend was motivated by COVID and lockdown restrictions forcing a shift to work-from-home.
Mobile doing a hard carry
This time, however, the interim results for 2021 show that the company’s masts and towers business helped mobile contribute to bringing in revenue. This saw its revenue grow by just 1.2% — which is still more attractive than seeing a decline.
Telkom’s outgoing chief executive officer, Sipho Maseko, seems happy with the current standing, saying, “Group profitability continued to grow ahead of revenue, underpinned by our sustainable cost management, which seeks to ensure that cost to serve is optimised and operating expenditure growth is contained below inflation.”
Drilling deeper into the numbers, the group saw mobile data revenue growth of 6.1% to R6.37 billion, while mobile broadband managed to grow by 10.3%. In addition, Telkom has managed to increase its mobile customer base by 18.8% year-on-year, to 16.3 million.
It’s worth mentioning that Telkom’s fibre arm Openserve’s revenue declined by 1.8%, securing R6.72 billion. It is increased its rollout of fibre connections, however.
“From a fibre to the home (FTTH) perspective, the number of homes passed increased by 54.2% to 707,399, and the number of homes connected with fibre increased by 34.3% to 331,735. The 331,735 number of homes connected with fibre surpassed the number of homes connected with copper of 230,817,” Maseko said.
The group is now entering into a roaming deal with SA’s largest mobile operator MTN, effective from 1 November. This is Telkom’s second national roaming partner. In addition, reports have surfaced claiming MTN may be in talks to acquire Telkom — a few legal hurdles permitting.