|Contribution to headline earnings||30 June
CIVH is active in the telecommunications and information technology sectors. The key operating companies of the group are Dark Fibre Africa Proprietary Limited (DFA) and Vumatel Proprietary Limited (Vumatel), which construct and own fibre-optic networks.
|FINANCIAL HEALTH||Year ended
31 March 2022
|Operating profit||1 470||53.9|
Community Investment Ventures Holdings Proprietary Limited (CIVH)
CIVH is active in the telecommunications and information technology sectors and is the holding company of a group of companies of which DFA and Vumatel are the largest operating subsidiaries.
DFA is the premier open-access fibre infrastructure and connectivity provider in South Africa. It builds, installs, manages and maintains a fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic, which is leased to its customers (telecommunication companies and internet service providers (ISPs)) using an open access wholesale commercial model. DFA has in excess of 13 400 km of fibre assets in the ground and owns fibre networks in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Midrand, Centurion and Pretoria, as well as in 24 smaller metros, such as East London, Polokwane, Tlokwe, Emalahleni and George, to name a few.
Vumatel is an open-access fibre provider at the last mile level and provides fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) products and services to ISPs. Vumatel installs FTTH in residential suburbs and has in excess of 33 000 km of fibre assets. After the fibre has been installed, Vumatel leases its infrastructure to ISPs, which in turn provide broadband retail internet services to the end customers.
CIVH has a March financial year-end and therefore its results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2022 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. The contribution of CIVH’s continuing operations to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to a profit of R47 million compared to a headline loss incurred of R435 million in the prior year. The 2022 financial year was characterised by greater market competition across both DFA and Vumatel. This was evident in higher churn rates and more pricing pressure than originally anticipated. The group has also seen some macro-economic pressure in terms of customer relocations, customer defaults and increased collection risk. This macro-economic pressure is further felt in business forum and security activity where new network builds are executed. In DFA security costs have increased almost three-fold over the 2022 financial year. These trends are being monitored carefully while the businesses look to continuously adjust their products to compete effectively.
The group generates healthy cash flows from operations, as R2 178 million was reinvested into the business to expand its operations and network footprint during the year.
CIVH issued share capital of R3.7 billion in July 2021 and August 2021 in terms of a rights issue. During September 2021 the company completed a share repurchase for a total consideration of R709 million. The equity capital injection has strengthened CIVH’s capital structure and enables it to retain flexibility to capitalise on future opportunities.
Vumatel retained its position as the FTTH South African market leader in homes past and active subscribers, achieving approximately 37% market share in both verticals. The business continues to successfully commercialise fibre into the lower Living Standards Measurement (LSM) areas under the Reach product offering, including a Reach pre-paid platform which has exceeded expectations on uptake. In addition to driving uptake on the current deployed infrastructure, key focus areas in the year continued to be the extension of its Active Ethernet and Gigabit Passive Optic Network (GPON) in Ekurhuleni and Cape Town while creating expansion capability into Reach areas such as Mitchells Plain, Vosloorus and Soweto.
Vumatel group revenue for the period increased by 26% to R2 981 million compared to the prior year of R2 360 million, driven by subscriber uptake growth for the year.
DFA’s current book value of the fibre optic network is in excess of R9.5 billion. The network uptime for the year under review was maintained at 99.98%, and mean time to repair was less than 2.5 hours, well above industry standards. The DFA revenue model adapts to the customers’ needs, and DFA offers flexible payment profiles, with a mix of an upfront amount and a monthly annuity, or solely annuity based with multi-year contracts of mostly up to 15 years. The future value of the current annuity contracts (excluding orders) is in excess of R11.7 billion. DFA group revenue for the financial year ended 31 March 2022 increased marginally year-on-year to R2 485 million (2021: R2 388 million). The annuity base at 31 March 2021 was R192 million per month and the company ended on a base of R198 million per month at 31 March 2022.
Vumatel continued to support its independent CSI Foundation, which has the objective of creating sustainable eco-systems in the communities in which the business operates. The goal is to contribute meaningfully and sustainably to these communities leading to strong ties that talk to the essence of the Vuma brand, a distinction that will set Vuma apart from the competition. Focus areas include education, safety, environment and healthcare. The business remains committed to the Vuma schools project, where 550 schools have been connected to date in areas where fibre has been deployed – providing every school that Vumatel passes with a free 1 Gbps service offering.
DFA achieved a level 1 BBBEE rating for the year. Critical gaps in infrastructure development, e.g. rural school connectivity remain DFA’s ongoing key focus of CSI, enabling it to bridge the digital divide in high poverty areas. The positive impact is on providing student access to e-learning and ultimately, new job creation and access to the economy.
SEACOM’s heritage stems from creating a connected Africa. SEACOM was instrumental in bringing Africa into the digital world as the telecommunications provider to deliver the first independent fibre connection to the continent. With a future-focused mindset and continuous investments in digital platforms, systems, and people, the company has transformed into a converged telecommunications provider and continues to serve the wholesale and enterprise markets in Southern and East Africa through its provision of high-capacity local and international fibre-optic connectivity, internet and cloud services.
|SEACOM is a private company and its detailed financial information is not disclosed due to restrictions on disclosure as agreed among its shareholders.|
SEACOM Capital Limited (SEACOM)
Remgro has an effective economic interest of 30% in SEACOM, a converged telecommunications provider which operates subsea and terrestrial fibre-optic connectivity, internet services, voice, cloud and security solutions to the Wholesale and Enterprise markets in Southern and East Africa.
SEACOM has a December year-end. Its results for the 12 months to 30 June 2022 have been included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. SEACOM’s contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the year under review amounted to a profit of R37 million (2021: R26 million profit). The increase in profitability for this period is due to a number of once-off expense items in the prior year.
The business has serviced continued demand for connectivity and cloud services in the Enterprise sector as Corporates emerge out of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as ongoing growth in the Wholesale sector as Africa’s digital infrastructure maturity deepens.
SEACOM’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving data market and invest in its submarine, terrestrial network and cloud infrastructure allows it to respond to an ever-increasing demand for faster and more reliable data services and is critical to maintain its ongoing competitive positioning. Key highlights during the period include the acquisition of a metro fibre business in Kenya in the second half of 2021 and Infrastructure assets in Uganda during the first quarter of 2022.
SEACOM continues to invest in bolt-on growth initiatives such as its acquisition of EOH’s Network Solutions business as well as organic strategic enhancements to its network such as the recent acquisition of capacity on Google’s Equiano cable, which will be ready for service later in 2022.
SEACOM has been a regular payer of dividends as a consequence of its cash profits.