Africa Moyo Senior Business Reporter
NetOne, one of the State-owned enterprises lined up for privatisation, has posted $10 million revenue in September driven by a 3 percent jump in its subscriber base last month.
The revenue achieved in September is 6 percent above what was budgeted for.
Critically, the performance was 18 percent ahead of the same period last year.
NetOne acting chief executive officer Nkosinathi Ncube told The Herald Business yesterday that the company’s year-to-date revenue of $84 million, surpasses last year’s figure by 9 percent.
Said Mr Ncube, “The company increased its subscriber base by 3 percent during the month of September with an increase in the OneMoney active subscribers within the same period.
“The performance of NetOne’s data products has also contributed to the positive growth in revenue from $20 million in the prior year to $33 million this year, which is a 65 percent increase in revenue from data services.
“This has been triggered by the network expansion project where NetOne has increased its 3G footprint across the country.”
Mr Nyathi said OneFusion, argued to be one of the most popular and competitive bundles on the market, has contributed to the growth in data revenues.
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz)’s abridged second quarter report for 2018, NetOne increased its 3G base stations from 752 in the first quarter to 824.
NetOne says the increase in the number of base stations was designed to further improve connectivity and data accessibility across the country.
The location of some of the new base stations seeks to reduce the disparity between rural and urban areas, by improving Internet access through mobile devices.
OneMoney, NetOne’s mobile financial services platform, is also said to be pressing ahead on a positive growth curve that has seen it recording a 93 percent growth in active subscribers.
Mobile money platforms such as OneMoney are in sync with Government’s financial inclusion mantra.
Mr Nyathi said the business has continued to implement various cost reduction strategies that have resulted in a significant decline in overhead costs compared to the prior year.
It is hoped that if NetOne continues to demonstrate ability to turnaround its operations and become more efficient, Government’s battle to convince potential investors in line with the agenda of privatisation of some parastatals, would become easier.
On April 10 this year, Government announced plans to partially or fully privatise some parastatals while others would be “buried”, to reduce the burden on fiscus.
Some parastatals perform dismally every year, recording obnoxious losses while managers have the audacity to increase their salaries.
The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which runs from October this year to December 2020, says Government will “expedite the implementation of the Cabinet decision on restructuring, partial or full privatisation of entities with the following options being pursued; liquidation, full privatisation, transformation to regulator, merging and de-merging and departmentalisation into existing ministries”.
About four international firms are interested in investing in NetOne.
Although exact details could not be obtained, reports have suggested that two of the firms are from South Africa and Lebanon.
Reads part of NetOne’s 2017 integrated report, “While the Government is yet to finalise the implementation guidelines for the partial privatisation, a number of foreign entities have already expressed interest in investing in the company.
“Partial privatisation of the company will result in a capital injection into the entity, and further restructuring of the balance sheet. The conclusion of the partial privatisation is expected to set the company on a solid growth path that will enable management to focus on growing the business without the current balance sheet.”