Cell C targets R27 billion revenue

Cell C CEO Jorge Mendes says they want to reach 15% revenue market share in South Africa to ensure the company is on solid footing, which will require a big jump in revenue.

Mendes told journalists on Monday that Cell C is set to shake up the South African mobile industry with innovative new products.

He also promised it would not be business as usual at Cell C and the company would be different going forward.

“We have to build an amazing culture. Our employees and partners must love to work with Cell C,” Mendes said.

He said within the first sixty days, he could already see different energy at the company, partly facilitated by improved communications.

“We believe if we create a really good culture and do the right things for the customer, we will carve out a share.”

He said Cell C still has brand value, which they will build on to make it a brand that South Africa really loves.

“Cell C must become a real purpose organisation that adds value just beyond a SIM card and a tariff plan.”

Mendes promised Cell C would be a different organisation in the next 18 to 24 months.

Cell C market share goals

Mendes said he is not initially focussing on market share. “We want to be profitable. We want to be sustainable.”

However, he said they will carve out a space for Cell C, where the business is worth far more than it is today.

Cell C has already significantly reduced costs, including retrenching most of its staff and switching off its radio access network.

Mendes said they are currently working on their new strategy, which would require a minimum of 15% revenue market share.

“We would be profitable before reaching 15% market share, but that would be a solid position to be in,” he said.

The latest annual reports from Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, and Cell C’s main shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, show that it will take a huge effort from Mendes’ team to achieve this target.

Over the previous financial year, Cell C generated revenue of R13.3 billion. That equates to a market share of less than 8%.

To achieve a market share of 15%, based on historical financial data and assuming all other operators’ revenues remain relatively constant, Cell C must generate around R27 billion — more than double its current revenue.

The table below shows the revenue and market share of the four major mobile operators in South Africa.

Operator Revenue (billion) Market share
Vodacom SA R84.715 49.8%
MTN SA R50.640 29.7%
Telkom R21.617 12.7%
Cell C R13.303 7.8%

A version of this article was first published by Daily Investor and is republished with permission.

Reporting with Jan Vermeulen.

Now read: 5G unlocks nothing for consumers — Cell C boss

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Cell C targets R27 billion revenue