Telkom declares plunging debt, first dividends since 2011. We interview its CEO

(Also read “Meet Sipho Maseko, controversial CEO and saviour of Telkom”.)

When Sipho Maseko took over as CEO at Telkom in 2013 the company was in serious trouble with its shares worth about R27.

Today the company, of which the South African government owns about 40 percent, is trading at R66.79 after racking up gains of 150 percent in 2014, the best of all companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The good news keeps on coming, it seems, as the company on Monday announced it’ll pay dividends for the first times in four years after producing good cash flows in the first quarter of 2015.

The telecommunications firm declared an ordinary dividend of 215c per share and a special dividend of 30c.

Cash flow increased by 240.4 percent to R3.89 billion while debt fell by 92.8 percent.

Headline earnings per share climbed 60 percent to 532.5c.

Mobile data increased by 50.6 percent while fixed line data rose by 1.5 percent.

Scroll down to listen to our interview of Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko. He discusses, among other things, falling voice revenues, Telkom’s changing business model and possible retrenchments.

Voice revenues are declining, as expected. We assume this drop will be deep and fast. Data, however, has infinite potential. We want to decrease our dependence on voice as soon as possible.

Sipho Maseko, Telkom CEO

We’re changing our business model and splitting in three - into a consumer business, enterprise business and wholesale and network business.

Sipho Maseko, Telkom CEO

Our staff expense to revenue ratio is not acceptable. We need to either increase our revenue and/or increase efficiencies. If we must lose staff we’ll be transparent about it.

Sipho Maseko, Telkom CEO

(Also read “Meet Sipho Maseko, controversial CEO and saviour of Telkom”.)

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