R32 million payday for Blue Label CEOs

Telco group Blue Label Telecoms has published its integrated report for 2017, revealing how much its co-CEOs got paid for the year.

Blue Label reported strong organic growth for the company in 2017, with a 7% increase in ebitda to R1.3 billion, and an 18% rise in headline earnings per share to 117.98 cents.

Operating profit increased to R1.2 billion, from R1.14 billion in 2016, while the group increase its dividend per share by 11% to 40 cents.

The group managed to reduce losses in its Mexico operations, but the continuous shift in consumer buying patterns from traditional purchasing of airtime to that of “PIN-less top-ups”, resulted in limited growth in group revenue, to R26.3 billion back home.

In August 2017 Blue Label implemented its acquisition of Cell C through a R5.5 billion recapitalisation deal.

Blue Label will have an effective 45% stake in Cell C with Net1 holding 15%, and other special purpose vehicles owning minority stakes.

The recapitalisation of Cell C would increase the ownership of the company by South African shareholders from 25% to over 86%.

It was announced on Wednesday that the recapitalisation process was given the all-clear from Icasa, while Cell C’s BEE partner CellSAf  continues its attempts to scupper the deal through the courts and via the Competition Commission.


For the 2017 financial year, Blue Label co-CEOs Brett and Mark Levy took home a combined R31.88 million in salaries, excluding the fair value of forfeitable shares at R21.4 million.

The Levy brothers earned a basic salary of R8 million each, with a performance bonus of R7.8 million each, taking total pay for each executive to R15.94 million. The fair value of each co-CEO’s forfeitable shares was R10.73 million.

The CEOs’ salaries were down from what was paid in 2016, where each exec took home R16.8 million.

According to the remuneration committee, while the Levy brothers and financial director qualified for bonuses at 120% and 70% of the annual salaries, respectively, the committee, at their
mandated discretion, determined that the bonuses should be limited to 96% and 56% of the respective annual salaries.

Total salaries for executive directors (including the co-CEOs and financial director Dean Suntup) came to R38.6 million for the year, with non-executive director pay totalling R5.04 million.

The total paid to directors was R43.645 million, down from R48.2 million in 2016.

Read: Blue Label growth curbed by shift in consumer buying patterns

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R32 million payday for Blue Label CEOs