Blue Label Telecoms (BLU) says that its target of achieving 450,000 new connections per month for its prepaid airtime and starter-packs business are on track.
Looking forward, the group plans to send out 60 trucks – employing 12 people each, along with 100 foot soldiers – into the more rural areas to grow the business.
Brett Levy, joint CEO of the group, said that 31 trucks were already operational, with a further 10 trucks ordered and paid for and set for operation in April. An additional 19 trucks would serve the rural communities by May 21.
The group on Wednesday (February 22, 2011) announced a 44% rise in headline earnings per share to 36.74 cents for the half year ended November 2011, from 25.45 cents before.
Revenue improved to R9.25 billion, from R8.64 billion, with operating profit up to R392.3 million, from R251.81 million.
The group announced a dividend per share of 14 cents, from 12 cents in 2010.
Blue Label Telecoms said that profitability was enhanced by a once-off, other income receipt of R79.4 million.
EBITDA increased by 47% and net profit for the period increased by 41% to R272 million.
Blue Label pointed to airtime revenue per network, with Vodacom (VOD) accounting for 53%; MTN (MTN) at 34%; Cell C, 10%; and Telkom (TKG), at 3%.
For its South African distribution segment, Blue Label announced revenue of R9.088 billion, from R8.519 billion before.
Revenue comprised sales of physical and virtual prepaid airtime, commissions on the distribution of prepaid electricity, and compounded annuity revenue generated from starter packs.
The increase in revenue was predominantly volume-driven in all of these components, it said.
Commissions earned on the distribution of prepaid electricity amounted to R41 million – from R30 million in 2010 – equating to revenue of R2.7 billion (2010: R1.5 billion) on behalf of the utilities.