Fiji-based telecoms group Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) recorded annual operating revenues of FJD662.9 million (USD313.6 million) for the year ended 31 March 2020, up from a (restated) figure of FJD523.7 million for the prior year, with CEO Ivan Fong saying that the telecommunications sector had ‘been fortunate’ to have been ‘spared the full brunt of the disruptions’ caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘In fact, in many settings, telecommunications, in being able to facilitate communication dissemination of information, remote working, digital lifestyles and online business is an essential component of rebuilding societies and economies,’ he said in the group’s annual report. The ATH official also pointed out that his company has made progress in consolidating its position in the markets in which it operates, while further expanding its geographical footprint in Papua New Guinea through ATH’s 70% interest in the Digitec Group. Nevertheless, consolidated operating profit for the period under review declined by 14% to FJD102.9 million, pre-tax income slipped from FJD102.6 million to FJD70.4 million, and net profit (attributable to shareholders) dropped 66% to FJD14.0 million.
By way of a word of caution, Mr Fong’s statement went on to point out: ‘The immediate future is highly uncertain and will be extremely challenging. Should the effects of the pandemic be prolonged then there is a great likelihood that more businesses and individuals will be significantly impacted. However, with a number of markets still needing additional investments to service demand, the long term prospects, nevertheless, remain a good proposition and ATH remains focused on achieving its overall strategic objectives.’