Altech suffers heavy losses

Allied Technologies (Altech) has on Wednesday (24 April) reported a diluted basic loss per share from total operations of 920 cents for year ended February 2013, from a prior loss of 275 cents before.

Revenue from continuing operations improved 4.7% to R10.16 billion, from R9.58 billion before, while results from continuing operating activities grew to R626 million, from R476 million in 2012.

However, from discontinued operations, following the disposal of its Telecommunication Network interests in East Africa, Altech pointed to a R1.54 billion loss from its operating activities, compared to a prior loss of R657 million.

It recorded an overall loss for the year from discontinued operations of R1.636 billion.

Altech decided not to declare a dividend in respect of the current financial year to conserve cash resources.

Effective 28 February 2013, the group disposed of the effective interests in the issued share capital of its Telecommunication Network interests in East Africa. It also indirectly disposed of its 75% interest in the issued share capital of Altech West Africa Limited (AWA).

Altech Autopage Cellular

Altech Autopage Cellular´s revenue of R6.02 billion, was a fraction off the 2012 figure of R6.07 billion.

“This is a result of the continuing decline in average revenue per user (ARPU), driven by increasing price competition among networks, mitigated during the year by improvements in internal processes and customer service at Altech Autopage Cellular,” Altech said.

This included the deployment of an e-billing conversion programme which created significant cost savings in addition to the creation of a paperless retail environment.

Altech Netstar Group

Notwithstanding a trend of declining revenue per vehicle, Altech Netstar increased total revenue to R1.04 billion, Altech said.

“During the year, Altech Netstar successfully concluded agreements with two new global hardware suppliers, resulting in cost reductions and improved service quality and features,” it said.

Altech Converged Services Group

A decline in turnover for the Altech Converged Services Group was the direct result of delays in the awarding of tenders at major customers. This was further exacerbated by disruptions related to the unrest in the mining and transport sectors.

“Among the local subsidiaries of Altech Radio Holdings, Altech Fleetcall performed best, following the launch of several new products, including a push-to-talk service.”

“The business, which is a national trunked radio network operator, has also been successful at selling broadband products that offer simple diversification options,” Altech said.

Liquid Telecommunications

On 28 February 2013, Altech concluded a transaction in which it realigned its East African network interests by injecting them into a strategic partnership with Liquid Telecommunications Holdings, thereby acquiring a minority interest in Liquid.

The way forward

With the disposal of Altech´s East and West African operations, the group says it is positioned to return to its normal pattern of growth.

“Working capital and cost management will remain material focus areas for the medium term. The group is also committed to becoming increasingly customer-centric.

“We plan to build on the tender, contract and relationships achievements for 2013 by co-creating value with all our South African and international partners,” Altech said.

“We believe that the Huawei partnership, in particular, has been shown to be even more important and strategic than originally anticipated,” the group said.

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Altech suffers heavy losses