MultiChoice has reported an after-tax loss of US$49 million for the six months between 1 April and 30 September 2023.
This is a significant swing from the US$3 million after-tax profit it posted over the same period last year.
The pay-TV operator also reported a 1% decline in revenue to US$1.5 billion, while operating profit declined 22% to US$262 million.
Looking at its 90-day active subscribers, MultiChoice reported a 70,000 increase in DStv subscribers in its Rest-of-Africa segment. However, in South Africa, it lost 486,000 subscribers. This resulted in a net loss across the group of 416,000 90-day active subscribers.
It is the first time DStv’s overall subscriber numbers have declined according to this metric. Showmax’s external revenue increased 46% to US$30 million.
MultiChoice blamed power interruptions, cost of living pressures, and sharp depreciation in local currencies against the US dollar for the decline in profitability.
“The impact was mitigated by a change in focus towards subscriber retention, an improved customer mix, as well as ongoing annual pricing and cost-saving disciplines,” the company stated.
“As a result, the group maintained a positive trading profit in the Rest of Africa and delivered a 31% trading margin in South Africa.”
It also said it came off a high-growth period linked to the FIFA World Cup in the previous six months.
The Rugby World Cup kicked off towards the end of the reporting period, at the beginning of September.
“The South African business had to contend with the effects of ongoing high levels of load-shedding as 43% of the days in the reporting period were impacted by stage 4–6 load-shedding,” MultiChoice stated.