Eskom revenue slides as liquidity remains a key issue

Troubled power utility Eskom on Tuesday published its interim results for the six months ended September 2017, showing a 2% decline in revenue to R95.5 billion.

The company continues to deal with a lack of liquidity, poor governance and corruption, and was downgraded by ratings agencies late last week over concerns about its finances.

The group said that profit for the period dropped from R9.5 billion to R6.3 billion, while profit before depreciation and amortisation expense and net fair value gain (EBITDA) declined to R29.6 billion, from R31.8 billion before – due to a 2% tariff increase and declining sales.

Cash and cash equivalents decreased by R11.9 billion as a result of reduced available debt funding as well as the impact of the below inflation tariff increase of 2.2% for the 2018 financial year.

Money owed to Eskom by municipalities has increased from R9.2 billion to R12.4 billion, the SOE said.

A new board was appointed by the government on 20 January 2018, with Jabu Mabuza as chairman and Phakamani Hadebe appointed as interim chief executive officer.

The board said it is in the process of appointing a permanent CEO and chief financial officer within the next three months.

Eskom’s new management said that managing liquidity remains a key focus area. “I am confident that Eskom will be able to turn the corner said Hadebe.

The board said it is also dealing with executives facing allegations of  serious corruption and other acts of impropriety.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said in a statement on Tuesday that government remains committed to overseeing the turnaround of power utility Eskom in order to improve its liquidity position and restore investor confidence.

The minister said this when she briefed the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises during the meeting of the leadership of state-owned companies (SOCs) at the Old Assembly on Tuesday.

“We remain resolute in our endeavours to turn the company around and Eskom is already seeing investors and lenders reviving their engagements and commitments to the company,” said Brown.


Read: S&P sees `clear danger’ of default by Eskom

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Eskom revenue slides as liquidity remains a key issue