Africa Moyo Senior Business Reporter
TELONE is forecasting an 8 percent jump in revenue to $128 million this year, driven by broadband and data revenue, which have been performing relatively well throughout the year. The revenue is expected to rise by $10 million from last year’s $118 million.
TelOne managing director Mrs Chipo Mtasa, recently said the revenue is anticipated to rise even in an environment of declining voice revenues.
“We are forecasting revenue of $128 million this year . . . 2018 revenue performance has been affected by missed revenue opportunities due to foreign currency shortages to allow procurement of materials required to meet customer orders,” said Mrs Mtasa.
“Network vandalism has also continued to disrupt service delivery. The company has consistently posted positive results at EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation).
“Legacy loans of up to ($380 million) and Zimra penalties cumulatively amounting to $20 million continue to weigh down performance.”
TelOne revenues have been fluctuating since 2013 when the company recorded $152 million.
The following year, revenue rose to $163 million and in 2014 it came down to $138 million, while in 2016, it came further down to $120 million.
In the last few years, TelOne’s revenues — particularly from voice revenue — are being adversely impacted by over-the-top (OTT) communication services such as WhatsApp, Viber, Twitter and Facebook, among others.
Mrs Mtasa said TelOne has since improved its broadband offerings to a point where the plunge in voice revenues is being offset by the growth in broadband and data revenue.
Voice revenue declined 14 percent to $62 million this year, from $72 million last year, while data revenue spiked by 44 percent to $65 million.
The decline in voice revenue contribution is “expected” and in tandem with international trends. Mrs Mtasa said broadband is expected to be the company’s mainstay from next year going forward.
This comes on the back of incremental capacity brought about by the National Broadband Project, which is funded to the tune of $98 million.
Mrs Mtasa said without Zimra penalties of $11 million and legacy loan interest and exchange differences of $9 million, TelOne would be operating profitably for the year with a $3 million profit.
“TelOne continues to call on the Government to address this and to avert Zimra penalties and interest especially as Government owes TelOne more,” she said.
TelOne’s operations are also hampered by network vandalism, which has seen over $3 million being lost in the 10 months to October.
Of the US$3 million, $2,2 million was lost in revenue as customers could not use TelOne’s services while $913 000 went towards repairing the vandalised network.
Vandalism is rife in Harare and Bulawayo.