JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms posted a 43% surge in earnings a share to 49.92c apiece during the six months ended November 30, 2020.
The increase was attributed to the disposal of the group's 47.56% interest in Blue Label Mexico and a partial recoupment of losses by the retail division of the WiConnect stores.
Blue Label ceased the operations of the WiConnect retail stores in the prior financial year.
The group reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 40.96c during the first half of 2020, an increase of 2% on the 39.98c reported in the corresponding prior period.
During the six months under review, core HEPS declined 1% to 42.7c, with core headline earnings amounting to R376-million, a 4% contraction on the R390-million reported in the preceding half-year.
About R351-million related to continuing operations and R25-million to discontinued operations.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) decreased 6% to R703-million, including non-recurring income of R101-million, of which R79-million related to the Blue Label Mexico disposal and R22-million pertained to foreign exchange gains primarily attributable to the $20-million liquidity support provided to Special Purpose Vehicle 2.
Excluding these, Ebitda for the half-year under review reached R602-million, at a margin of 6.28%.
Blue Label’s gross profit for the six months to November decreased 3% to R1.14-billion, with an increase in the gross profit margin from 10.33% to 11.87%.
Revenue generated by continuing operations declined 15% to R9.6-billion.
“As only the gross profit earned on PINless top-ups, prepaid electricity, ticketing and gaming are recognised as revenue, on imputing the gross revenue generated thereon, the effective growth in revenue equated to 7% from R30.2-billion to R32.4-billion,” the group said.