Blue Label’s Levy brothers score R48 million payday

Blue Label Telecoms has published its annual report for 2018, showing how much its chief executive officers were paid.

Blue Label joint-CEOs Mark and Brett Levy were paid a combined R48 million – taking home just under R24 million each.

The salaries comprise a basic salary of R8.5 million, and share scheme payouts of R1 million, R3.1 million and R10 million each. The joint-CEOs also received dividends of R317,000 and a short-term incentive bonus of R7.8 million.

However, of this payout, R8 million still needs to be settled in terms of a restraint of trade award agreement.

In August Blue Label Telecoms reported a flat set of results that was not well-received by the markets, largely due to the financial performance of Cell C.

The group reported a marginal (1%) rise in revenue to R26.8 billion for the year ended May 2018, with operating profit declining to R1,097,549, from R1,174,890 before.

Diluted headline earnings per share, also declined from 113.22 cents per share, to 107.41 cents per share.

After the results were announced, the group’s share price dropped 12% to reach a low of R6.80. On Friday (28 September), shares in the group remained under pressure, at R5.11 per share, down 4% on the day.

The company’s chief executives have said that the price performance is 100% related to Cell C, but insisted that “the punishment doesn’t fit the crime”.

“Blue Label is a strong business,” Brett Levy said at the time.

Blue Label acquired 45% of Cell C in August 2017, for R5.5 billion. Levy said that the acquisition of Cell C was ‘very deliberate’ as it compliments Blue Label’s core business.

“We didn’t buy it because we had to buy it; we didn’t buy it because we felt like another asset; we bought it because of the tremendous value we think it could add.”

“We paid a great price for it,” Levy said, adding that it was a distressed asset. This is about a strategy,” he said, adding that the company is ahead in every line-item since the acquisition – less than a year ago.

“We are going to be a tremendously strong number three network,” he said, highlighting several key pillars the group will focus on, led by its strength in wholesale.

“We will implement a very serious third network, and you will all see the results,” he said, noting a time frame of between one and three years.

Read: How Blue Label will try to change the market’s mind about Cell C

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Blue Label’s Levy brothers score R48 million payday