South African mobile operator, Cell C, has released its full-year report for the year ending 31 December 2020, reflecting a loss of US$384 million, an improvement from its 31 December 2019, where it suffered a US$530 million loss.
According to Cell C’s Chief Financial Officer, Zaf Mahomed, the mobile operator‘s second half of the financial year was more profitable than the first. He highlighted that the results reflect a transition that is currently in process within the business. The business focus has now shifted to reducing costs with a focus on revenue-generating activities, said Mahomed.
Cell C reported that its revenue for the 12 months was down by 8% to US$963 million from US$1 billion in 2019. Its most significant contributor came from the operator’s prepaid base at US$433 million in 2020 from US$481 million in 2019. The mobile operator’s average revenue per prepaid customer has increased by 28% on a year-on-year basis despite a prepaid subscriber decline by 15% to 9.2 million customers.
Operational profitability was approximately 30% higher at US$286 million, and earnings before interest and tax improved from a loss of US$370 million in the first six months of 2020 to a profit of US$125 million in the second half. A net gain of US$146 million was declared for the last six months of the annual period. However, due to impairment and once off expenses in the first half of the year, the net loss before tax was US$384 million.
Cell C’s CEO, Douglas Craigie Stevenson, said the performance reflects that the business is operationally more robust. The operator plans to evolve to a digital lifestyle company that offers value for money. This comes as the company migrates its radio access networks to roaming partners MTN and Vodacom to provide services to its customers.