September 2010 – Shareholders in MultiChoice’s equity empowerment companies, Phuthuma Nathi 1 & 2, will receive a dividend of R240 million this year. This is a significant increase from last year’s dividend of R180 million. The ordinary dividend will amount to 71.1 cents per ordinary share, up from 53.3 cents that was paid last year, which represents an increase of 33%.
A special dividend of R300 million will also be paid to Phuthuma Nathi 1 & 2, which will be used to pay the debt and reduce the balance of preference shares on the loan account. In the financial year ending March 2010, MultiChoice Group revenues increased by 18% to R14.5 million. Group net profit was R2.9 million for the same year.
Revenue growth can be attributed to growth in subscriber numbers – from 2.4 million in March 2009 to 2.85 million in March 2010. Most of this growth is due to growth in subscriber numbers of the DStv Compact bouquet – 716 000 as at year end from 470 000 in March 2009.
“The DStv Compact bouquet made a substantial contribution to our growth – we gained 245 000 new Compact subscribers in this past year. Our continued investment in great content and subsidies of decoders helped us to grow our subscriber base,” says Nolo Letele, Group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.
During the past year, MultiChoice introduced a new bouquet, DStv Lite at R99 and added more channels to existing bouquets. Since April 2010, MultiChoice has introduced 14 new channels onto its bouquets, of which 3 were in High Definition.
The company also introduced a number of value-added services for DStv Premium subscribers such as DStv OnDemand. This catch up service enables Premium subscribers with PVRs to catch up on their favourite series, documentaries and sports programmes. Premium subscribers without PVRs can access catch up content online at DStv.com.
MultiChoice also focussed on making its services more accessible by introducing a fully installed packaged of R649, as well as a more affordable PVR at R1999.
Phuthuma Nathi 1 & 2 have 120 000 black shareholders and collectively own 20% of MultiChoice South Africa. When launched, Phuthuma Nathi was one of the largest empowerment transactions in the listed media sector.
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