BTL revenues fall by $6.5 million; profits increase $3 million

Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) is scheduled to have its second Annual General Meeting under the directorship of the Government of Belize on Thursday, December 2, 2010. Although the amount of dividends to be declared has not yet been disclosed, Amandala has had a chance to review the 2010 Directors' report and the financial statements, which will be formally presented at the meeting next week.

The reports are extensive, and include reviews of operations under the former management, when the company was under the control of British billionaire Michael Ashcroft (April to August 2009) and the period after August 2009, when the government acquired the company via nationalization.

Total revenues for 2009 to 2010 are listed at $146.7 million versus $152.2 million in the previous year, whereas profits have increased from $19.7 million to $22.7 million.

The company was able to record a higher profit, notwithstanding a fall in revenues, because expenses fell nearly $11 million over the same period.

Earnings per share have increased from 41 cents to 46 cents.

The Director's report explains: "...the Company experienced an overall decrease of 4% in its core revenue streams, which was impacted by increased VoIP [Voice Over Internet Protocol] usage for international long distance calls, reduction in national calling revenues from both the postpaid and prepaid fixed line subscribers, suppression of Telemedia staff initiative by the previous Board pre-August 25th 2009, accompanied by increased competition in the cellular arena during that time and a general decrease in consumer spending. Revenue from the fixed-line revenue streams declined by $6.1 million, while GSM revenue decreased by $1.9 million as compared to the previous year, mainly in the prepaid customer base as consumers spent less in recharging their accounts and the effect of per second billing introduced in September 2009."

The accounts were audited by PKF Belize.

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