ATH releases update on Q3 performance; explains plan to acquire FINTEL shares

22 Feb 2012

Fiji’s Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) has issued an update on its financial performance for the third quarter ending 31 December 2011 and explained how it intends to pay Cable & Wireless Communication’s (CWC’s) for the UK-based firm’s minority 49% stake in Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL). As reported by CommsUpdate, on 9 February ATH said it had struck an agreement to buy CWC’s shares in international calls provider FINTEL, which is 51%-owned by the government of Fiji – and managed by ATH, which is also the owner of local telecoms carrier Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL). The group’s move to effectively take full ownership of FINTEL is subject to the usual government and regulatory approvals, and ATH now confirms that if ratified, it will pay for the shares from its own cash as well as through loans or debt.

ATH which controls a number of local subsidiaries alongside TFL – including Vodafone Fiji, Fiji Directories Limited and Internet Services Fiji Limited (Connect) – issued a statement to the South Pacific Stock Exchange explaining its financial status and detailing its performance for the third quarter ending 31 December 2011. The statement, published by The Fiji Times, said ATH reported a 1.5% drop (or FJD2.9 million [USD1.7 million]) in revenue in the period due to falling sales at TFL. ‘All other subsidiaries recorded higher or relatively the same revenue figures compared to the previous period,’ it went on to say. ‘There are no abnormal adjustments included in the period ended 31 December 2011 … However, [for] the comparative [year-earlier] period … an income tax benefit of FJD9.5 million was recorded in TFL’s accounts which was later reversed when the financial statement for the year were finalised at 31 March 2011. ATH also revealed a 55% year-on-year drop in net profit for its fiscal third quarter to FJD10.8 million from FJD24.2 million, attributed to ‘a decline in operating revenue, unrealised exchange losses, increased provisions in operating expenses, depreciation, amortisation and income tax expenses’.