Mul­tiChoice gets boost from rand

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Mudiwa Gavaza Tech­nol­ogy Writer [email protected]­nesslive.co.za

Africa’s largest pay-TV op­er­a­tor Mul­tiChoice re­ceived a boost from de­pre­ci­a­tion of the rand in the six months to endSeptem­ber, help­ing its core earn­ings surge by as much as a quar­ter.

Africa’s largest pay-TV op­er­a­tor Mul­tiChoice re­ceived a boost from de­pre­ci­a­tion of the rand in the six months to end-Septem­ber, help­ing its core earn­ings surge by as much as a quar­ter.

The group, which has bat­tled an ex­o­dus of pre­mium sub­scribers who are choos­ing to watch on­line con­tent on stream­ing plat­forms such as Net­flix, said it ex­pects core head­line earn­ings per share for the pe­riod to be be­tween 70c and 88c higher than last year’s 352c, rep­re­sent­ing a 20%-25% in­crease.

The R55.4bn com­pany has had a strong run on the JSE since its un­bundling from in­ter­net gi­ant Naspers in Fe­bru­ary, with its share price up 18.25% for the year to date.

LO­CAL CON­TENT

In the last fi­nan­cial year the com­pany for the first time made the majority of its rev­enue out­side the coun­try and it is now bank­ing on a strategy of in­creas­ing its lo­cal con­tent and mass­mar­ket of­fer­ing as a means of growth.

Head­line earn­ings per share (Heps) for the pe­riod are ex­pected to be be­tween 256c and 271c higher than last year’s fig­ure of 78c.

Mul­tiChoice, which is set to re­lease its re­sults on Tues­day, said an im­prove­ment in its trad­ing per­for­mance was in­flu­enced by the lower de­pre­ci­a­tion of the rand against the dol­lar com­pared to the prior pe­riod, which has led to a de­crease in un­re­alised for­eign ex­change losses on trans­la­tion dol­lar­de­nom­i­nated transpon­der lease li­a­bil­i­ties of the group.

The rand crashed 19.4% against the dol­lar in the same pe­riod in 2018, due to sen­ti­ment around land ex­pro­pri­a­tion, cen­tral bank in­de­pen­dence and other fac­tors. In 2019, the rand has only fallen by 4.4% for the six months to end-Septem­ber.

Shares in the DStv owner closed 0.76% higher at R125.20 on Thurs­day.

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