Cell C shows huge 660% growth in net profit

Cell C said its turnaround is taking shape, following the release of its financial results.

Cell C’s latest results – for the year ended 31 December 2017 – produced a strong set of figures, which were headline by:

  • Service Revenue: +12% to R13.2bn
  • Total Revenue: +7% to R15.7bn
  • EBITDA: +151% to R7.8bn
  • Net Profit: +660% to R4.1bn
  • CAPEX: 8% of Revenue at R1.2bn
  • Total Subscriber Growth: +6% to 16.3 million

“While our turnaround strategy was put in place in 2012, the recapitalisation of Cell C last year has really allowed us to create a strong foundation for the business,” said Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos.

The operator said its “continued focus on exceptional value and disruptive product offerings” was part of the reason for the improved figures.

“Cell C’s MVNO strategy and the growth in the wholesale division has also been a key contributor to revenue growth, with wholesale revenue increasing by 79% to R717 million.”


Cell C said data usage was also showing strong growth, which occured in combination with a decrease in the price of data – which dropped by over 36% year-on-year on the network.

“Data revenue increased by 29% and data usage increased by 90% year-on-year. The number of smartphones on the Cell C network increased by 21% year-on-year to 9.2 million devices,” said Cell C.

“Cell C’s current active data customers increased to 12.6 million.”

Network investment

The operator said its network investment in 2017 was lower than previous years, “largely due to the slowed investment during the transaction period”.

“This investment will increase going forward to ensure we keep pace with infrastructure and capacity needs and technological innovations,” said Dos Santos.

Cell C now offers 3G services to 96% of the South African population, it added.

Cell C’s LTE-Advanced network covers approximately 32% of the population, with an “aggressive rollout of more LTE-Advanced sites” planned.

Triple play

Cell C concluded its results presentation by stating that its Black streaming service had proved to be a big disruptor this year, while its fibre division had shown excellent growth.

“During the second quarter of 2018, Cell C plans to release a full triple play offering that will include unlimited and uncapped fibre, mobile voice, and data and entertainment services through our Black platform,” it said.

Now read: Interesting year ahead in South Africa’s ICT market

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Cell C shows huge 660% growth in net profit