Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) met with shareholders for the Ninth Annual General Meeting Tuesday night in Belize City. The company’s ownership has only recently been settled but as far as the company’s financial status is concerned, the bottomline is still not nice reading for shareholders, who have seen profits decline for the fifth straight year, which also means a slight reduction in dividends. Board chairman Nestor Vasquez explains what is behind the fall.
Nestor Vasquez, Chairman BTL: Now regarding the financial statements which are included in the directors report I would like to comment further on them to you. the fiscal year 2014/15 BTL earned Gross revenues of 143.2 Million, as compared to 142.6 million, a slight increase we had in revenues as compared to the previous year. Now, all mobile data revenues over to past year increased by over 35% and the launch of our 4G mobile service resulted in an increase in mobile 4G revenue by 55%.the combine impact in the various revenue streams resulted in gross venues being increased by $616 thousand dollars. You may have observed that our profit for the year ended March 31, 2015 dropped by $2.1 million. The chief reason for this drop was because of the increase in depreciation which moved from 3 million by 3 million, jumped from 29.8 million to 32.8 million. that 3 million dollars is really what brought down the profit by 2.1 million. In other words it was not a cash expenditure. Note that if the depreciation had remained the same as in the previous fiscal period, our profit would have increased it would have been $20.4 million dollars.
Shareholders received 23 cents per share in dividends, down a cent from last year. Chairman of the BTL Executive Committee Anwar Barrow says he is not overly concerned, as the telecom giant is going through the teething pains of a re-organization of its commitments, values and ideals.
Anwar Barrow, Chairman Exc. Committee BTL: Revenue outlook. This is key. Our revenue outlook as you can see from 2012 has been pretty stagnant. We are at 143million dollars in terms of revenue in 2012. In 2014 we were back at 143million. But the exciting story here, and what I want to point out on the slide is that for this financial year starting in April, we are projecting at the next AGM to be up or above 151million in revenue. So everything that I have been talking about in terms of the 4G mobile experience, in terms of pushing Broadband connectivity, that is the result. That is where you see it in the hard-core numbers. That is going to be something that is going to be a tremendous turn around going from $143million this year to possibly over $151 million next year. And that right know is where our focus is on. It’s about capturing the market.
Vasquez compared this year’s profits to those immediately realized before the takeover of the company in August of 2009, which stood at about $19.9 million. The difference, he stated, is the $200 million in capital investments over the last six years which has yielded a stronger base for BTL to work from. In other business news from the meeting, Eric Eusey was re-elected for a one year term as “publicly elected director” and auditors Pannell Kerr Forster were also reappointed.