MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS AND FINANCIAL RESULTS

NAMPOST TURNS INTO TELECOM HOLDING'S CASH COW

Nampost has, for the first time, achieved the cash cow status for Namibia Post and Telecommunication Holding (NPTH) after recording impressive results for the year ended 30 September 2005. According to the CEO of NPTH, Frans Ndoroma, Nampost posted "its best financial results ever, since its commercialisation in 1992".

Nampost' annual report for the year ended 30 September 2005 will be released to the public this Friday, 31 March.

In the NPTH annual report for the year ended 30 September 2005, Ndoroma comments that Nampost posted a net profit of N$9.3 million compared to the N$1.7 million loss in the previous financial year. "The [financial results] have, indeed, exceeded expectations," the chairperson of NPTH, Steve Motinga, says in the NPTH annual report. The holding's annual report was released on Thursday afternoon after the annual general meeting. NPTH is also the holding group for Telecom and MTC.

"During the previous financial years, Nampost was in the midst of a financial turn around," said Motinga. Nampost's core revenue grew by 21% year-on-year, from N$149.5 million to N$180.5 million. Net income from the Savings Bank grew by 39% year-on-year, from N$25.5 million to N$35.4 million. Cash and equivalents rose from N$6.1 million to N$22.4 million.

Telecom and MTC also had a good financial year. The three subsidiaries declared dividends of almost N$27 million to the NPTH group. Telecom paid a total dividends of N$16.94 million, Nampost N$2 million and MTC N$80 million for the year ended 30 September 2005. The NPTH group itself recorded positive financial results for the year, recording an increase of 13% in operation profit, from N$532 million in 2004 to N$601 million in 2005. "As clearly indicated in our financial statements, the various subsidiaries in the company continue to register positive growth," said Motinga adding that the "subsidiaries continue to yield positive results in all areas". While enjoying such positive growth, the holding nevertheless recorded a slight decrease in revenue, which slid by a mere -0.27%, from N$1,817 in 2004 to N$1,182 million in 2005. Liabilities also went down by 3% from N$1,963 million in 2004 to N$1,906 million. Its asset value, however, swelled by 9.97% from N$3, 024 mill ion to N$3, 326 million.Meanwhile, Telecom Namibia posted an increase of 3.4% in revenue, from N$1,020 million to N$ 1,055 million.

"Despite the tough trading environment that faced Telecom resulting from increased competition in the voice and data segment of the business, the company remains strong and its prospects are good," said the chairperson of Telecom Namibia, Titus Haimbili. The balance sheet improved with cash and cash equivalents increasing to N$223.3 million from N$202.7 million. Total liabilities decreased by 23% to N$658.7 million.

The MTC, Namibia's only mobile telecommunication network operator, does not make its annual reports public. However, judging from the healthy cheque of dividends - the highest compared to Telecom and Nampost- business should be booming in the company partly owned by Portugal Telecom.

Motinga said, "MTC has had another record year. Customer base grew by 42% to 403 000 customers, and its [market] penetration stands at 20%." He further said that MTC plans to reach 95% of the Namibian population in the next 12 months.

Namibia Economist

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