Cell C, South Africa’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced that its revenues for the twelve months ended 31 December 2010 increased 5% year-on-year, to ZAR10.2 billion (USD1.4 billion) on the back of strong customer growth. Service revenues for the period increased 4% to ZAR9.3 billion, whilst earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) remained unchanged at ZAR1.4 billion, largely due to costs relating to increased infrastructure and re-branding activities. However, nine years after its launch, the cellco has yet to record its first net profit; no figures on operating or net losses were provided.
In operational terms Cell C increased its customer base by 12% year-on-year, reaching 8.2 million customers by end-December 2010. Pre-paid growth proved particularly significant for the company, with pay-as-you-go subscribers growing 17% year-on-year. Further, customer churn decreased by 14% y-o-y. Meanwhile, blended average revenue per user (ARPU) rose 6% to ZAR99 a month. After launching its HSPA+ network in August 2010, Cell C saw its total data subscriber base reach 120,000 by end-June 2011. The cellco’s HSPA+ network now covers 15 major cities and their surrounding areas, giving the operator population coverage of approximately 63%. In the next twelve weeks, Cell C expects to extend its 3.5G network to a number of additional municipalities, including: Paarl, Wellington and Kroonstad.
Announcing the results, non-executive chairman and acting CEO, Simon Duffy, commented: ‘As the board, we are pleased with the performance and progress that Cell C has made over the last year. We are half way through the revitalisation programme. We will continue to drive it forward and to keep Cell C top-of-mind for customers. The board remains committed to the transformation strategy put in place last year’.