NEWS | Wednesday, 05 March 2008
Malta’s quad-play telecoms provider GO plc announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December. The group maintained both its turnover and profit levels. Last year’s revenue amounted to €131.8 million (Lm56.6 million), which is above 2006 turnover which stood at Lm55.4 million. The group’s profit before tax is €27.7 million (Lm11.9 million) whereas in 2006 it was Lm12 million.
This profitability represents a return of 14.1% (2006: 14.4%) of the average shareholders’ funds and of 10.4% (2006: 10.8%) of the average total assets employed.
The gross margin for the year amounted to Lm22.3 million or €51.9 million (2006: Lm25.6 million), equivalent to 39.3% (2006: 46.1%) of total revenues. Net operating costs excluding voluntary retirement costs and VAT claim refundable amounted to Lm46.4 million or €108.1 million (2006: Lm40.7 million) and mainly represent interconnection charges with other operators, labour costs and depreciation.
The tax expense for the year amounted to Lm4.7 million or €10.9 million (2006: Lm3.9 million).
Earnings per share for 2007 amounted to 7c1 or €0.165 (2006: 8c). Following an interim dividend of Lm0.01c5 (2006: Lm0.01c5) net of taxation per share which was declared on 31 October 2007 and paid on 21 November 2007, the Board of Directors is recommending the payment of a final dividend of €0.11c65 equivalent to Lm0.05c0 (2006: Lm0.05) net of tax per share for the approval of the shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting to be held on 11 April which dividend will be payable on 16 April. This net dividend will be payable to shareholders who will be on the register of shareholders as at 14 March.
Commenting about these results, GO Chairman said: “In 2007, GO experienced strong growth in broadband, mobile and digital television services, which are making up for the decline in revenues from traditional fixed line services which continued in the year.”
He added: “Last year GO managed to maintain its revenues, and actually grow them, in the face of intense competition and extensive regulation of the core services. We also maintained group profitability. Moreover, the continued trend of significant cash generation and strong balance sheet was maintained.”
Portelli said new opportunities, such as Smart City, will mean GO will be entering new areas of business as well as consolidating and growing existing ones: “With the launch of our second submarine cable linked to Interoute, we have positioned ourselves as the local telecoms provider which has the best international connectivity solutions. Moreover, with the announcement in February of this year of the acquisition of a 22% in one of Greece’s major broadband providers (Forthnet), GO and its major shareholder – Emirates International Telecommunications – have entered into a new market and hence guaranteed new revenue streams and more opportunities for future growth.”
Speaking about the results, GO CEO, David Kay said: “2007 was a transition year during which key changes took place within the organisation and also in the dynamic market we operate in, changes helped us shape the foundations for future growth and consolidate our status as the leaders in the local telecoms market.
“2007 will be remembered as the year where we actively entered the TV market, thus our vision of becoming Malta’s first quadruple-play telecoms company materialised. In February 2007, we officially acquired Multiplus Ltd and immediately integrated its operations into those of the fixed line business. Our multi-million euro investment in both TV content as well as the transmission and head end technologies has resulted in more than the doubling of our customer base within a matter of a year. In fact, as at the beginning of 2008, we have close to 25,000 GO Plus TV customers, and the numbers are growing day by day,” Kay said.
Mr Kay added in the broadband sector GO continued increasing its market share and revenues, whilst in mobile sector the company has acquired high-spending post-paid customers and maintained its share of the market. Revenues from GO Mobile remain a key contributing factor to the group’s profitability, despite last summer’s introduction of the new, reduced roaming rates, as imposed by the EU.
“Apart from the business achievements, 2007 will also be remembered for the transformation process we went through, and which will continue this year. We have been through several internal changes with a view an extensive business process re-engineering of our systems and methods so as to enhance customer experience, and improve efficiency, while actively competing in the market,” he continued saying.
Speaking about the re-branding exercise that took place in 2007, Kay said this was a key milestone in the company’s journey to maintain its status as the number one telecoms company in Malta.
“The change to GO has given us a fresher look, and made it easier for people to realise the benefits of obtaining their services from one company. Apart from the change in logo, the re-branding exercise brought with it a single number customer care service, the new quad-play concept store in Birkirkara, as well as a number of bundles which reward our subscribers for having more than one of our services. All this was done with one thing in mind – the customer.
“We still have a way to go to ensure we offer the best level of customer experience in Malta, and 2008 will be the year where we focus our energies to achieve this goal successfully,” Kay said.
05 March 2008
ISSUE NO. 525