Friday, October 9, 2009

Botswana: BTC In 104% Profit Rise

Botswana's incumbent fixed line operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has posted its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2009, reporting a 104% climb in net profit to BWP118.95 million (USD18.44 million), up from BWP58.33 million a year earlier. The company had set a net profit target of BWP64 million for the year, but it was exceeded by BWP54.9 million, attributed to mobile operators Orange and Mascom Wireless continuing to use BTC Mobile's infrastructure.
BTC's CEO, Thapelo Lippe, said that during the first six months of the financial year, a number of factors impacted on the operations of the company, including retrenchments and court cases, but BTC managed to turn its fortunes around. He added that BTC has been able to save on operating expenses, which stood at BWP343 million at 31 March 2009, against a target of BWP395 million.
Meanwhile, the firm's wireless division BTC Mobile, which operates under the beMOBILE banner, is said to be doing well, registering an average of 15,000 new subscribers every month and at end-September 2009 had a mobile subscriber base of 200,000.
In a separate story, BTC is to invest USD75 million in the deployment of the West African Cable System (WACS), a submarine fibre-optic cable linking London with Africa. Thapelo Lippe said that his company and Telcom Namibia will both contribute equally as second tiers, while regional giants such as Vodacom, MTN, Neotel and Zain will contribute USD100 million each for the development of the undersea cable.

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