BTL Revenue Dips, But Cost Cuts Boost Profits
Belize City, Wed October 6, 2021 – Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) released its Annual General Meeting (AGM) report for 2020-2021, in which the company presented figures describing its financial position / performance for the fiscal year from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. What The report states is that there has been a significant contraction in company revenue over the past year – with a 17% ($ 29 million) drop in company revenue reported. Nonetheless, the company was able to achieve a net profit 605% higher than last year, thanks to what BTL Chairman of the Board, Mark Lizarraga, called “cost optimization and evolution. organizational ”. According to the report, the company’s total revenue for the year was $ 141.3 million, and there was a notable 15% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA ) from $ 55.7 million in 2020 to $ 64 million in 2021 which the report again attributes to the company’s “strategic cost containment measures”. These measures appear to have resulted in the aforementioned 605% increase in net income – from $ 1.2 million to $ 8.7 million, with a resulting increase in earnings per share for shareholders, which would be of 14 cents per share this year. In addition, shareholders’ equity increased from $ 228.2 million to $ 234.6 million (3%) after the payment of dividends and the transfer of net earnings.
The report also provided a breakdown of the company’s revenue for the year. He noted that mobile revenue, mostly derived from prepaid sales, declined $ 13.5 million from the previous year. Roaming revenues also decreased by $ 4.7M (mainly due to the closure of the tourism sector), while postpaid revenues increased by $ 1.3M from the previous year. Legacy Network’s revenue was down $ 6 million (33%) from the previous year, while there was a $ 11 million drop in sales and solutions revenue, resulting from a $ 6 million drop in merchandise sales and a $ 5 million drop in on-time sales for enterprise solutions. On a more favorable note, the company noted that its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network, which has been extended to 90% of all homes nationwide, earned it a $ 1.7 million increase from the year before, and the company also noted that it is expected to complete the phase-out of its old copper network within twelve months.
The Chairman’s message to shareholders highlighted some of the adjustments that have been made in order to increase profits despite the considerable reduction in income made by the company. He noted that “by aggressively seeking discounts from local and international suppliers, renegotiating contracts, outsourcing and reducing operational expenses across the country,” the company was able to achieve savings of $ 24 million. of dollars.
The company also successfully negotiated a new collective agreement (CBA) for 2021-2024 with the Belize Communications Workers Union, which was achieved through monthly town hall meetings with their internal staff. Finally, the President’s speech concluded by detailing the various social initiatives that the company has undertaken. These initiatives included free mobile data plans for frontline workers, a 66% increase in DigiNet speed for all users for free, increased mobile promotions and a social media education campaign and a newly designed MobilePayz solution. which allows the government to distribute $ 19 million in COVID-19 relief funds to more than 20,000 beneficiaries.
In addition to the student data plan and work-from-home data plan, which both provided 25GB of affordable data to customers, BTL also introduced other promotions in 2020, such as its TopUp Rewards plan, which offered only data or conversations, SMS and data for top-up purchases; their Digi Airnet plan, which offered affordable monthly plans and data allowances to rural areas, the International TopUp plan, which allows worldwide credit transfers to any prepaid BTL customer, and the CreditMi feature, which allows prepaid customers to get a credit advance from Digi to make calls, send text messages or purchase LTE mobile data.
President Lizarraga noted that BTL is now focusing its strategies on return on equity:
“BTL continues to transform and evolve to ensure efficiency, transparency, profitability and longevity. As such, we have changed our financial reporting model. We now focus on Return on Equity or ROE, which measures profitability, while ensuring that investors receive a reasonable return on their investment. With this new focus, we aimed to improve ROE by targeting eight percent to twelve percent growth over the next five years, ”he said.
It’s worth noting that the GOB and taxpayers will receive 49 cents on the dollar for declared dividends.