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#425426 - 12/16/11 05:26 PM BTL – Profits up, costs down
Marty Offline
BTL Headquarters (inset) Net Vasquez

Belize Telemedia Limited will be holding its 5th Annual General Meeting on Thursday December 15th at the Princess Hotel and Casino. For the company and its shareholders, it will be a good day as the company is boasting that it has increased its earnings and cut down on costs. The company will also make presentations that show expansion in services for customers.

The director’s report states that “In this fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, net income increased by $8.6 million or 38% to $31.3 million from $22.7 million recorded in the previous year. This resulted in earnings per share increasing to 63 cents from 46 cents per share from the previous year.” The figures show that the company achieved a 12% return on equity, which is an increase of 2% over the previous year.

While the profits were up and share earnings were up, the company is reporting that expenses are down. Net financial costs decreased by 1.9 million. This was as a result of BTL not paying interest costs for a US 22.5 million dollar loan, which the previous board borrowed from Belize Bank (Turks and Caicos) now the British Caribbean Bank Ltd. That loan had been used to purchase shares in Telemedia which was held by the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. According to the director’s report, the company received legal advice which showed that the transaction was unlawful therefore no payment was made to service the loan. A claim was filed on June 4th, 2011 seeking a declaration that the loan was in fact null and void.

In the legal arena, the company also filed a claim of BZ$21 million against the former Board of Directors of BTL for wrongful acts in connection with the sale of BTL’s subsidiary, Great Belize Productions Limited.

As the company finds itself in a financially sustainable footing, it is also offering expanded services to the consumers. Notably the company has invested in 17 new sites across the country, expanding coverage. It also boasts the only nationwide fiber optic network. These accomplishments and others will be highlighted at the AGM.

BTL was acquired by the Government of Belize on August 25th, 2009. At the time it held 94.5% of the shares of the company. In October 2010, shares were 44.5% of shares in the company were offered to the public, 606 persons opted to purchase shares. At the closure of the sale on March 31, 2011, the Government owned 71.4% of the shares of the company.

The Guardian


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#425492 - 12/17/11 02:27 PM Re: BTL – Profits up, costs down [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

No End To Dividends At Telemedia

Telemedia held its fifth annual general meeting last night. Making money has not been a problem for the hugely profitable company, but stability has been hard to find over the past eight years, as there have been a flurry of owners since 2003.

But now that the company's public ownership is enshrined by the constitution - it at has started to show the semblance of long-term stability - assuming that a constitutional challenge does not overturn that law.

So it was with the sense of fledgling new identity as a publicly owned corporation managed within a private framework that Telemedia held its Annual General Meeting last night.

7news was there:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
Telemedia welcomed some of its over one thousand new shareholders to an Annual General Meeting last night where the company's largesse was on abundant display with raffles, gifts, and goodies on display.

And they had every reason to feel good; Shareholders - led by the government with a 70% share-holding approved the payout of hefty 15 million dollars in dividends. That is half the company's profit for the past fiscal year, a profit which increased by 38% or $10 million dollars, from $21.3 million to $31.3 million.

Nestor Vasquez, Chairman - BTL
"As you know the articles required that we pay at least 45% of the profits of the year audited at financial showed. The board has recommended that we declared a dividend of 50% of the profits. As you may be aware the profit increased from about $22 million to about $31 million for the year, so that 50% means you get a bigger dividend this year."

Government will get the biggest part of that dividend payout - but these small shareholders will get about half a million dollars - in 1600 checks that were sent out today.

But more than just a payout that seemed reminiscent of the company, pre-Prosser, pre-Ashcroft glory days, these owners want a company that is robust and able to hold its own and grow its earnings in a competitive market against a nimble competitor:

Nestor Vasquez, Chairman - BTL
"We have made every effort to stabilize the company, to grow the customer base, to expand and improve our network, cut operation cost and to re-improve customer service nationwide. Based on the above we expect our company and business to grow in its resiliency in its quality and affordability to our customers while yielding a fair return to you our shareholders."

And to make sure that it remains competitive, Telemedia says it is going 4G:

Nestor Vasquez, Chairman - BTL
"Just this week we have committed to forging ahead and delivering only the best and fastest to our customers by rolling our 4G network by sometime before the middle of the year 2012."

While impressive, the sharp increase in profits for 2010-2011 is due principally to a change in the tax regime for internet services.

Channel 7


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