Telkom reports mixed impact from Covid-19


Telkom reports mixed impact from Covid-19

Published Date: 2020-09-21 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Telkom reports mixed impact from Covid-19

The telecoms group says demand for mobile data has helped push it into the number 3 position in the mobile market.

Telkom says its mobile business has continued to grow, helping it overtake Cell C to become the third largest mobile telecom in the country as customers used more of its data to work and entertain themselves at home due to Covid-19. However, it says the lockdown had a negative impact on its BCX and Small Medium Business (SMB) operations as corporate customers came under severe financial pressure.

In a market update, the telecoms group said its various business units were impacted in different ways by the pandemic in the first half of its financial year. The consumer business also benefitted from online schooling, with most of the growth coming from mobile traffic. Mobile data contributes about 70% of the business. However, the migration to work from home impacted its Enterprise fixed business as the usage was diverted to mobile connectivity leading to a significant decline in fixed voice revenue.

Telkom said the investment it had made in modernising its network, including fiber backhaul, had enabled wholesale business unit Openserve to carry increased traffic across its network to support increased demand for its data.

Despite the challenging environment, it said its liquidity remained resilient with a stable balance sheet. It had entered a payment plans with the SA Revenue Services to pay an outstanding liability of R870 million, including interest. It would fund the payment out of its monthly cash flows up to the end of March.

Telkom issued no guidance on its earnings ranges for the six months to end-September and said it would release its interim results on or about 10 November.

Its shares fell 1.5% to R25 on Friday.

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