SA Altech posts ZAR 502mn net loss as East, West African operations weigh.

By bne IntelliNews April 26, 2012
South African telecommunications group Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) reported a net loss of ZAR 502mn (EUR 50mn) for its fiscal year to end-February, compared to a profit of ZAR 225mn for the previous year, due to poor performance from East and West African operations. The companys pre-tax loss after capital items totalled ZAR 240mn versus a profit of ZAR 459mn, but excluding capital items, it made a pre-tax profit of ZAR 590mn. Operating profit fell 17.5% to ZAR 649mn and revenue declined 3.3% to ZAR 9.97bn. Results from our East and West African operations were disappointing. However, we remain positive that the remedial measures that we have put in place in East Africa will have a positive effect in the future, Altech CEO Craig Venter said in a statement. Operations in East Africa experienced a tough trading period with financial performance below expectations with a number of challenges, including currency fluctuations, high inflation rates and interest costs, sharp drops in broadband pricing, and network instability due to fibre and undersea cable breaks. Altech has started restructuring its East African operations into a more regional focused business entity to provide regional unity and a single interface into key customers. In West Africa, Altechs Nigerian cellphone recharge vouchers unit was negatively affected by mobile operators offering cheaper alternatives. The groups other operations performed in line with expectations, with the majority reporting solid growth figures, it said.

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