MultiChoice today announced that its equity empowerment companies, Phuthuma Nathi 1 & 2 will receive an ordinary and special dividends amounting to R1 billion.
Phuthuma Nathi 1 & 2 will receive R400 million of the ordinary dividend declared by MultiChoice. This represents a 33% increase from last year’s dividend. Phuthuma Nathi in return declared an ordinary dividend amounting to 118.5 cents per ordinary Phuthuma Nathi share, up from 88.89 cents paid last year, which represents an increase of 33%.
Since inception in 2006, Phuthuma Nathi shareholders have received dividends every year. The total dividends received to date is some R280 million. Phuthuma Nathi shares started public trading on 08 December 2011. The Phuthuma Nathi average share price for the month of August was R50 per share.
Nolo Letele, Chairman of MultiChoice South Africa Group says; “This represents a very good return on investment. Phuthuma Nathi shares were bought by BEE shareholders for R10 per share when the scheme launched in 2006. Since then shareholders have received dividends of R4.21 per share. This, together with the capital growth, means shareholders who invested in Phuthuma Nathi at that time have realised a return of over 400%.”
Phuthuma Nathi will also receive a special dividend of R600 million from MultiChoice which will be used to further reduce the debt.
“This special dividend will reduce the original debt of R40 per share to R17 per share. This will further increase the value of Phuthuma Nathi 1 and 2,” said Letele.
Mandla Langa, Chairman of Phuthuma Nathi says “Phuthuma Nathi 1 and 2 are truly broad based black economic empowerment share schemes and have given ordinary black South Africans an opportunity to invest in an innovative and cutting edge company.”
Meanwhile the MultiChoice Group continued to perform well recording a strong growth for the financial year ending March 2012. Total group revenue increased by 16% to R20.5 billion, whilst net profit increased by 24% to R4.2 billion mainly due to organic growth.
During the year under review, the MultiChoice South African subscriber base grew by 492 000 households, with the overall base at four million household as at end March 2012. This was largely driven by extensive marketing, special events such as the Rugby World Cup (RWC) as well as the continued decoder subsidies.
The company continues to significantly invest in the local film industry with the production of the first-ever South African telenovela, iNkaba. Locally produced movies have also found a platform on Mzansi Magic. All of this is supported by the DStv Film Skills Development Programme, which trains and encourages up and coming filmmakers.