Econet owed over $26m

Econet owed over $26m
Econet Wireless CEO Douglas Mboweni

Econet Wireless CEO Douglas Mboweni

MOBILE telecommunications operator, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet), is owed over $26 million by local partners, a situation that has affected the firm’s cash flow, chairman, James Myers, has said.
Myers told the group’s shareholders last week that the network was also experiencing foreign payment challenges, with the company actively looking into ways of solving this after its $130 million rights issue to settle offshore debts.
“We are owed in excess of $26 million by local interconnect partners and inability to obtain the payments is affecting investment decisions… In an environment with limited foreign currency, we have continued to explore ways in which to address these challenges, one of these being the recently concluded rights offer,” he said.
Myers said the firm’s earnings had remained competitive, despite an 11,1 percent decline in profit after tax from $40 million to $36 million in the full year to February 28, 2017.
“Even under these challenging conditions, at 36 percent, the EBITDA margin remains competitive; we have been creative to recalibrate the business, cognisant of the challenges faced globally by operators in sustaining a growth in voice revenues,” he said.
Chief executive officer (CEO), Douglas Mboweni, said the group would focus of growing its banking unit, Steward Bank, mobile money platform, Ecocash and its broadband business.
Steward Bank is expecting to present a positive set of results after recording an unprecedented surge in the number of active accounts driven by depositors in search of electronic platforms.
The bank’s CEO, Lance Mambondiyani, recently said they had closed the first half with about 467 000 accounts, up from around 30 000 in the prior comparable period.
Mambondiyani said the bank’s first quarter transactions surged to over seven million, from around 300 000 in prior comparable period, with the bank processing close to 500 000 transactions a day.
“Overall, you will realise that despite the (bad) conditions, the group continues to remain resilient and optimistic,” Mboweni said.
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