Cell C’s bottom line is looking a lot healthier


Cell C is showing signs of having turned the corner, at least when it comes to its income statement — the company’s balance sheet still needs fixing through a planned recapitalisation.

In the six-month period ended 30 November 2020, the mobile operator reported a net profit after tax of R1.2-billion. That compares to a net loss in the same period in 2019 of R3.8-billion.

However, Cell C is still expected to report a full-year loss when it publishes financial results next month for the year ended 31 December 2020.

The only reason the numbers to November were disclosed is they are contained in Blue Label’s interim results, published on Friday. Cell C executives are planning to provide more details about the annual numbers at a press conference some time in March.

Three slides about Cell C included in the Blue Label results show:

  • Six-month service revenue of R7.1-billion, down 8% from the same period in 2019;
  • Normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was up 10% to R2.1-billion;
  • Depreciation, amortisation and impairments amounted to R313-million, compared to R5-billion previously; and
  • At the end of 2020, the subscriber base had climbed to over 12.5 million (compared to 11.7 million at 30 June 2020).

A planned recapitalisation of the debt-laden Cell C is still happening, despite lengthy delays, and is being led by its shareholders.

Blue Label co-CEO Brett Levy

A “liquidity platform” has been put in place, with stict liquidity protocols overseen by an independent third party. An informal debt standstill is also still in place, while current terms are on hold while Cell C’s debt is restructured as part of the recap plan.

Blue Label co-CEO Brett Levy told TechCentral during a media call on Friday that the recap “is looking good” and that “we really believe we will recap in the near future”.

“With Cell C’s (good) performance over last six to 12 months, it has helped the recap process. We remain absolutely confident (the recap will happen soon).”  — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media


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