The buck stops here: Telkom CEO

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko has come out fighting after the group delivered yet another poor financial performance on Friday, pledging accountability moving forward.

On Friday (14 June), Telkom delivered yet another disappointing set of results for the year ended March 2013, highlighted by a 73.2% decline in headline earnings per share to 87.0 cents.

Group operating revenue decreased by 1.7% to R32.501 billion (2012: R33.079 billion).

The decrease, according to Telkom, is mainly due to lower fixed-line voice revenue, partially offset by an increase in mobile and data revenue, Telkom said.

The board decided not to declare a dividend, as was the case in 2012.

The board also took the decision to impair the carrying value of the assets of the Group by R12 billion for the year ended 31 March 2013.

Telkom said that a turnaround is required, but it stressed “the firm is not broken” recognising frustration among its key stakeholders.

Speaking at the troubled operator’s results presentation in Rosebank, Maseko, who took the helm of the firm in April, said: “The big point is that we take accountability. We want to assure you that we will not be repeating the mistakes of the past. We’ve had a bit of a tough time over the past few years. We have a number of issues to address.”

Maseko pointed to “severe” challenges in the group’s revenue and cost structures. “This is not lost to the team,” he said.

The CEO also highlighted the challenge it faces with in its relationship with government, which has a 39.8% direct ownership of Telkom. He said that there is a “big effort” to converge and align both parties’ interests, with government seeing Telkom has a key player in its national broadband plans.

Maseko painted a broad picture of where the company would look to improve its financial position in the financial year ahead, including the maximising next generation networks (NGN) efficiencies and returns, effective management of 3rd party spend, customer service effectiveness, and its current staffing, which accounted for in excess of 30% of its revenue base in the reporting period.

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The buck stops here: Telkom CEO