MultiChoice said 8.2 million consists of households in South Africa and 10.7 million households in the Rest of Africa. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – The MultiChoice Group reported a double-digit growth in earnings for the six months to end September, boosted by a 7 percent increase year on year in subscriber numbers. 

The group added 1.2 million 90-day active subscribers, taking the overall subscriber base to 18.9 million households. 

The group said on Monday that 8.2 million consists of households in South Africa and 10.7 million households in the Rest of Africa. 

As a result its core headline earnings increased by 24 percent to R1.9 billion despite the 5 percent additional share allocation in MultiChoice South Africa gifted to Phuthuma Nathi shareholders in March. 

Its revenue was up by 4 percent to R25.7bn and trading profit increased by 22 percent to R4.8bn. 

The group also reported earnings per share of 336 cents a share and headline earnings per share of 341c. 

Chief executive Calvo Mawela said that they were pleased with the group’s solid financial performance and their ability to navigate a very challenging economic climate. 

“The group’s cost saving objectives for financial year 2020 remain on track with R700 million in costs eliminated from the base during the first half of the year, mainly as a result of the continued shift in spend towards more cost-effective local content, innovation in customer care, contract renegotiations, hardware savings and the introduction of platform efficiencies,” Mawela said. 

The group has a strong balance sheet with R9.9bn in net assets, including R6.9bn of cash and cash equivalents, after settling the R1.5bn dividend to Phuthuma Nathi, and utilising R0.8bn for share buybacks. “We are also on track to deliver on our R2.5bn dividend commitment for financial year 2020,” Mawela said.