MultiChoice hits record profit with big increase in DStv subscribers

MultiChoice’s financial results have revealed a big increase in trading profit and subscribers on its pay-TV service DStv.

The group’s trading profit increased 28% to R10.3 billion, benefiting from a R1.5 billion reduction in losses in its business in the rest of Africa, and 9% growth in South Africa.

“This strong trading profit performance was due to resilient revenue growth, strong cost control and the impact of embracing new ways of working as a consequence of COVID-19 that reduced operating costs,” MultiChoice said.

It was further supported by a delay of R1.1 billion in sports events’ costs, which will now be incurred in the next financial year.

MultiChoice’s revenue increased by 4% to R53.4 billion, made up mainly of subscription revenue of R44.7 billion, which increased by 5% year over year.

Advertising and commercial subscription revenues were significantly impacted by COVID-19, however.

MultiChoice also reduced costs by renegotiating sports rights, lower decoder unit costs, sourcing and procurement savings, and the benefits of ongoing digital adoption throughout the organisation.

Core headline earnings, the MultiChoice board’s measure of sustainable business performance, was up 32% on the prior year at R3.3 billion.

Subscriber breakdown

The increase in subscription revenue was due to 1.4 million DStv subscribers being added across Africa between March 2020 and March 2021.

90-day active subscribers grew by around 515,000 subscribers, while 848,000 new customers were added in the rest of Africa.

“This represents a 2% acceleration in year on year (YoY) growth to 7%, as heightened consumer demand for video entertainment services, continued penetration of the mass market and an easing of electricity shortages in southern Africa improved growth rates,” said MultiChoice.

This bring the service’s total subscribers count to R20.86 million as of March 2021, with 11.9 million subscribers (57%) in the Rest of Africa (RoA) and 8.9 million (43%) in South Africa.

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MultiChoice hits record profit with big increase in DStv subscribers