South African telco Telkom has reported operating revenues of ZAR16.39 billion (USD1.99 billion) for the six months ended 30 September 2011, down 3.2% year-on-year. Of Telkom’s core revenues, voice services generated ZAR6.6 billion, representing a decrease of 5.5% year-on-year, whilst data revenues slumped 7.9% to ZAR5.1 billion. Meanwhile, during the reporting period in question EBITDA slipped 16.7%, to ZAR4.41 billion. Telkom’s operating profit also declined heavily, from ZAR2.90 billion to ZAR1.22 billion y-o-y. Group capital expenditure, which includes spending on intangible assets, decreased by 10.1% to ZAR1.81 billion, and represents 11.0% of the group’s revenues during the period in question.
In operational terms, fixed line telephony customers grew 4.7% to 797,827 as at 30 September, while Telkom’s ADSL broadband subscriber base increased 13.7% to 795,419. In addition, the operator reported 3,364 WiMAX subscribers, a 14.6% rise year-on-year. Meanwhile, Telkom’s mobile unit ‘8ta’ – which launched in October 2010 – signed up 1.14 million subscribers in its first eleven months of operation. TeleGeography notes that this subscriber data refers to customers who have used an 8ta SIM card during the previous 90 days, an unusually large reporting window. However, a total of 2.20 million customers are said to have activated 8ta SIM cards since the cellco’s inception.
Telkom South Africa CEO Nombulelo Moholi commented: ‘The six months under review have been very challenging. The traditional fixed line market is shrinking as fixed line voice moves to mobile, and into less profitable data revenue streams, and as price competition intensifies, particularly in the data market. Line losses continue, self provisioning is growing which negatively impacts our wholesale revenues and regulatory intervention through termination rate cuts impacts our revenue streams. In addition, our mobile business is taking longer than expected to reach our targets’.