South Africa’s mobile network Cell C has published its financial results for the six months to end-June 2016, reporting a 16% increase in revenues to ZAR6.963 billion (USD498 million), up from ZAR6.002 billion in the corresponding six months of 2015. The financial data was published in a circular to shareholders by JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms (BLT) — which is buying a 45% stake in Cell C for ZAR5.5 billion as part of the mobile operator’s recapitalisation plan (aiming to reduce its debt to below ZAR8.0 billion). Cell C attributed the growth in the first half of 2016 to an increase in service revenues and equipment sales, particularly in the prepaid segment. The company has posted profit of ZAR2.802 billion, a significant improvement on the ZAR1.158 billion of net loss reported in H1 2015.
In operational terms, BLT reported that the South African cellco had a total active subscriber base of 12.6 million at mid-2016, far below the 25.0 million figure previously reported by the company itself. Of these, 10.6 million were pre-paid users, 500,000 (post-paid), one million (hybrid tariff plans) and 700,000 (broadband plans). A further one million users were wholesale users, signed up to MVNOs using Cell C’s networks. The company said that the 12.6 million figure refers to users active within a three-month period, while the 25.0 million figure corresponds to total subscribers active within a four-month period.