Blue Label Telecoms joint chief executives Brett and Mark Levy. The group released its annual report yesterday. Photo: Karen Sandison
JOHANNESBURG - Blue Label Telecoms co-chief executives Mark and Brett Levy each received an annual salary of R8 million for the year to May.

The group revealed this information in its 2017 integrated annual report published yesterday. The overall package totalled R15.79m when performance bonuses were taken into consideration.

The group’s remuneration policy states that its philosophy is to reward employees and executives in a fair and equitable way in order to attract the best talent and ensure a culture of high performance in the execution and support of Blue Label’s business strategy and vision.

“Rewards are set at levels that are competitive and drive performance in the short and long term, ensuring alignment with shareholder interests and simultaneously promoting an ethical culture and responsible corporate citizenship.

“Incentive-based rewards are earned through the attainment of demanding key performance indices and targets, consistent with shareholder growth expectations,” the group’s remuneration committee said.

It added that it had consulted its key shareholders on any proposed changes to its remuneration and reward policy, with due cognisance given to the non-binding advisory votes at the annual general meeting.

Under the leadership of the Levy brothers, Blue Label reported an increase in earnings for the year to end May.

It reported strong organic growth with group headline earnings a share increasing by 18% to 117.98cents a share. The group said this was predominantly achieved through increases in revenue to R26.3 billion, increase in gross profit by 19% to R2.2bn and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increasing by 7% to R1.3bn.

Earnings a share increased by 14% to 117.92c and capital and reserves accumulated to R5bn.

In August, the board declared a dividend of 40c a share, equating to 2.25 times cover on headline earnings.

Overall the group paid a total of R43.6m to its directors, down by 9.34% from last year’s R48.2m.

Updating on its progress outside SA, the group said in Mexico it managed to cut its losses by 42% during the year.

The group received good news from the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) yesterday.

“Blue Label is pleased that a final decision has been made by Icasa. The recapitalisation of Cell C has been hugely successful in that it promotes the interests of the economy, the telecommunications industry and the consumer,” the group said. Blue Label paid R5.5bn for a 45% stake in Cell C early this year.

Blue Label’s chairperson Larry Nestadt stressed the importance of Cell C in the annual report. He said the investment of R5.5bn in Cell C and R1.9bn in the 3G mobile group represented a significant percentage of the market capitalisation of Blue Label.

“The failure of Cell C would not only negatively impact the investment therein, but would have a compounded effect on the 3G mobile group, in that a significant portion of its profitability stems from its trading relationship with Cell C.

“In order to contribute to the success of Cell C, Blue Label has representation on the board of directors,” he said.

Blue Label shares fell 0.63% to close at R15.90 on the JSE yesterday.