Blue Label Telecom says it will implement a salary freeze for 2021 to navigate any further economic or operational impacts.
The group published its annual report for the 2020 financial year on Tuesday (29 September), outlining its remuneration structure in the year ahead, while also revealing the pay data for the company’s top executives.
“The landscape within which we operate remains challenging. In the last two quarters we navigated Covid-19 together with our line managers and employees.
“Through FY20 we implemented our revised people strategy. Collectively, we restructured most subsidiaries and in doing so we were able to overcome the challenges that Covid-19 presented swiftly and decisively,” Blue Label said.
The group said it managed to retain over 91% of its employees, “and the decision to not implement salary increases this year has put us in a position to maintain remuneration at all levels throughout the organisation”. Blue Label employs 922 people, excluding its international operations.
The company said that a decision was taken by the remuneration committee that no salary increases will be awarded in the 2021 financial year, “in order to preserve our liquidity to enable us to navigate any further economic or operational impacts the Covid-19 pandemic may have”.
Joint-chief executive officers and brothers, Mark and Brett Levy, took home a R13.2 million salary each in the latest financial year.
The Levy brothers pulled a basic salary of R9.5 million each, with benefits amounting to R200,000. The share scheme, dividends and a restraint of trade award for the year added another R3.3 million to the tally.
Group chief financial officer Dean Suntup took home total pay of R5.2 million.
The figures mark a pay cut for the top executives in 2020, after being paid R14.2 million each in 2019, with Suntup’s pay cut from R5.8 million.
Blue Label Telecoms in August reported a 10% drop in revenue for the year ended May 2020, to R21.1 billion.
Headline earnings per share of 58.16 cents per share, was up substantially, from a prior loss per share of 312.49 cents.
Gross profit declined by 2% from R2.17 billion to R2.12 billion, partially limited due to an increase in margins from 9.21% to 10.05%, the group said.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation declined by R111 million, to R1.21 billion.
As the carrying value of Blue Label’s investment in Cell C was fully impaired for the year ended May 2019, the financial results of Cell C did not have any impact on Blue Label’s earnings for the current year, it said.