The MultiChoice Group (MCG) has released its financial results for the full-year 31 March 2020.
The group reported a 38% growth in core headline earnings to R2.5 billion, with consolidated free cash flow increasing by 59% to R5.2 billion, driven mainly by an improvement in the trading results from the Rest of Africa.
Revenue was up 3% to R51.4 billion and included R42.8 billion in subscription revenue which increased 4% YoY.
The group said that it added 900,000 90-day active subscribers, representing 5% growth year-on-year (YoY).
This took the overall subscriber base to 19.5 million households, split between 8.4 million households in South Africa and 11.1 million households in the Rest of Africa.
MultiChoice said that its South African business delivered solid results, reporting subscriber growth of 6% YoY or 500,000 subscribers on a 90-day active basis.
“The impact of Covid-19 and the associated lockdown saw an uplift in subscribers towards the end of March,” it said.
“The ongoing change in subscriber mix towards the mass market, combined with the pricing strategy, resulted in monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) declining 4% from R302 to R290.”
The group calculates ARPU by dividing average monthly subscription fee revenue for the period.
The subscription fee revenue includes BoxOffice rental income but excludes decoder insurance premiums and reconnection fees.
Despite tight cost controls, Multichoice said that trading profit increased only 1% YoY due to muted revenue growth and the cost impact of broadcasting three major sporting events in the same financial year.
This included the broadcast of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC), the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the Rugby World Cup (RWC) on SuperSport.
MultiChoice added that connected video users on both the DStv Now and Showmax platforms continue to grow as online consumption increases.
To position the business for the future, leverage the group’s scale and enhance the product ecosystem by providing access to a wider variety of content, the group recently concluded distribution agreements with two major international Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) providers,” it said.
“Showmax also commenced the trialling of sport to subscribers with positive early user engagement.”