This report covers performance period from 01 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.
Ethio telecom commenced the budget year with the implementation of its three years LEAD Growth Strategy with its set strategic objectives and goals that helps it to realize its aspiration to become a leading digital solutions provider in the competitive telecom market while playing its enabling role for the overall progress and prosperity of our country and realize digital Ethiopia.
As emphasized in its LEAD growth strategy, our company is providing digital, beyond connectivity solutions that help its customers simplify their lives and enterprises to streamline their businesses and increase their productivity thereby building the digital economy of our country.
All in all, our company has been resiliently working hard, enhancing customer experience and satisfaction to become a leading digital solutions provider in the fast and dynamic telecom market to meet the growing demand for telecom services. It has been undertaking a wide range of projects and operations to expand telecom infrastructures and systems, improve the quality of service and increase the outreach of benefits to the community.
It implemented strategic priorities such as: operational excellence ; deploying new and enhancing infrastructure and systems, service availability, expanding revenue streams, quality and affordability; effective resource utilization and enhancing financial capacity, devising cost optimization strategies, following new procedures the market requires to strengthen the international business to expand foreign exchange earnings, ensuring the security of the institution by increasing the efficiency of technology skills and preventing against telecom fraud and cyber attacks in an organized and complete manner, leadership and staff capacity building and empowerment; building reputable brand etc in order to meet strategic goals.
In this budget year, our company generated a total of 75.8 Billion ETB in revenue and achieved 101% of its target through expanding its revenue sources, mainly offering customer and institution-centered digital solutions and digital finance services beyond the basic telecom services.
This income when compared to previous year same period, shows a 23.5% increment. The revenue share when described in terms of service types shows 43.7% share for mobile voice, 26.6% for data & internet, 9% for international business, 6.9% for value added services, 4.7% for devices (handsets, dongles, modems) and 7.2% for other services. From foreign currency generating services (international interconnect, roaming, infrastructure share and international remittance) 164.1 Million USD was generated achieving 107.8% of its target. This achievement is made possible due to the increase in the amount of traffic handled by all services. There is a growth of 34.5% in voice traffic and 94.5% in data traffic when compared to the previous fiscal year.
In the reporting period, our company registered 51.2% in Earnings Before Interest,
Tax, Depreciation and Amortization by increasing its revenue and instilling cost-saving practices and culture. The EBITDA amount has grown by 24% when compared to last budget year with 135% of the target performance. The net profit margin has reached 25% showing a growth of 109% compared to the net profit last year budget year. This was made possible due to the outstanding works done in diversifying and increasing revenue, cost optimization initiatives and effectively utilization of resources.
In addition to efforts made to diversify revenue streams, our company has devised and implemented cost optimization strategies to reduce costs and utilize resources properly to drive efficiency and profitability. By formulating and implementing the strategy, outstanding results have been recorded since the last fiscal year. In this fiscal year, our company saved more than 6.47 billion birr achieving 106% of its target.
Our company has paid out 82.2 billion birr for various payments in the budget year of which 20.8 Billion birr for taxes, 4.23 billion birr ($78.4 million) for loan payments, 2.5 billion birr for dividends and 54.6 billion birr for CAPEX and OPEX expenditures and other expenses. In addition, the 2014 fiscal year financial audit has been completed and categorized as an unqualified or Clean Report. we have also made an interim audit for the 2015 EFY and a full-year audit is in progress.
During the budget year, our total subscribers reached 72 Million achieving 98% of the subscriber base target and an increase of 8% from the previous budget year. When seen in terms of service types, Mobile voice subscribers reached 69.5 Million, Data and Internet users 33.9 Million, Fixed Services 853.6 K and Fixed Broadband subscribers reached 618.3K. Telecom density has reached 66.8%. Among the 774 operators in the world, we are the 2nd largest in subscriber base in Africa and 21st in the world.
This remarkable performance in revenue and customer base is realized through the network and system infrastructures expansion and optimization works that enhance customer experience and satisfaction and result in customer retention; and by offering 203 (116 new and 87 revamped) local and international products and services and through the additional incomes generated from expanding and sharing our infrastructures.
In terms of enhancing Quality of Services, Network Coverage & Capacity, as well as enhancing system capacity different projects have been executed. New Mobile Sites development, Mobile Network capacity upgrades and optimization have been done on 3,251 mobile stations resulting 9.5 million additional mobile network capacity to serve additional customers. At the end of this fiscal year, the wireless Network Population Coverage in 2G has reached 99.19%, in UMTS/3G, 98.4%; in 4G/LTE 33% and a 5G capacity that accommodates 440 thousand customers has been created. Furthermore, Fixed Broadband service with a capacity to serve 228 thousand additional customers has been built in the budget year.
On the other hand, in addition to increasing the mobile network capacity, many system capacity enhancing projects have been undertaken to provide wide range of services to our customers to improve their experience. Further more, our company has launched its pre- commercial 5G services, as part of its move to realize digital Ethiopia and that enable the implementation of technologies such as internet of things, mission critical and real time services. More 5G network expansions are underway.
DIGITAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
As part of enhancing digital economy, Our Mobile Money business “telebirr” which was introduced with the aim of meeting the country’s growing demand for digital financial services and to ensure financial inclusion. has 34.3 Million subscribers with a total transaction value of ETB 679.2 Billion.
The telebirr digital financial services namely telebirr sanduq, telebirr Mela and Endekise were launched in partnership with Dashen Bank in August 2022 to ensure access to financial services and promote financial inclusion. As a result, a micro loan services of over 4.1 Billion Birr were provided to 2.4 Million customers using tele birr Mela and Endekise. And over 768 K customers were able to save more than 3.6 billion birr using telebirr sanduq (micro saving). Furthermore, in our partnership with Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), we launched additional telebirr digital financial services namely telebirr Sinq, telebirr Enderas and telebirr Adrash in June 2023. And within 13 days of the launch a micro loan services of 155.3 million birr were provided to 25,666 customers and 2,564 customers were able to save 14.2 Million birr.
In order to ensure accessibility as well as benefit our partners, 615 service centers, 136 master agents, over 107.3K agents and 58.4 merchants have been engaged so far. In addition, integration with Banks is completed enabling money transfer from Bank to telebirr in 23 Banks and from telebirr to Bank in 21 Banks.
521 governmental and non-governmental institutions have integrated their payment system with telebirr as part of building digital Ethiopia. As part of fuel management digitalization initiative, 1,263 gas stations have started receiving fuel payments via telebirr and with this, more than 66.5 Billion Birr fuel transactions (both subsidized and non-subsidized) were made through telebirr.
HUMAN CAPITAL WORKS
To effectively execute company’s strategy, to ensure sustainable growth and profitability of our company in the competitive market, developing competent leadership team and staff is a key priority that needs to continuous investment and attention. Accordingly, in the fiscal year, various capacity building interventions were made, with more than 10K unique employees taking various trainings. Totally, more than 22.8 thousand employees attended online training while 17.8K employees attended in person training. Various certification programs have been availed to produce domain experts in various critical fields. Concerted efforts were made to build leadership capacity through training and workshops, to create a high performing working culture to boost productivity with a healthy competitive spirit. As the sector is undergoing rapid change and development, special focus was given to develop competent and committed workforce, retention and succession planning.
CYBER SECURITY ATTACKS AND TELECOM FRAUD PREVENTION
As the digitalization of our country deepens, the vulnerability for cyberattack on telecom infrastructures and digital financial services are growing in type and size. To tackle such growing and complex cyber-attack attempts, we have invested in multiple cyber security systems to ensure security of our infrastructure, systems and customer data. We were able to effectively protect the security of our infrastructure, systems and customer data from multiple attack attempts. Due to the nature of the attack, continuous works of prevention is required and thus far, it was possible to create safe situation through coordinating human resources, organizational structures, system and integral works.
BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP, JOB, INCOME OPPORTUNITIES
Our company is playing significant role in the economy both as an enabler for multiple economic and social sectors, and creating job and income opportunities for many citizens by working in partnership with stakeholders in the ecosystem through partnership to distribute our products and services, hiring indefinite and definite term employees and other partners engaged in outsourced businesses. Our company has 17,202 permanent employees of which 12,317 (72%) are male and 4,890 (28%) are female. In addition, it has 22,792 temporary (contract) workers most of which are security guards responsible for keeping infrastructure and service centers.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility and Its commitment for the societies overall progress, our company’s interventions have continued to have a positive impact on society, environment, and all stakeholders. Its CSR projects focused in strengthening communities by targeting the fundamental drivers of long-term development such as education, health, agriculture, environmental protection, greening and beautification of cities. In this year, it has contributed more than 439.9 Million Birr in kind, in service (200.6 million birr) and in cash (239.3 million birr). In addition, the corporate spirit is also reflected by our staff across the country by voluntarily mobilizing more than 7.5 Million ETB for various humanitarian activities. Also, their material and in-service support including blood donation has been enormous.
RESTORATION OF SITES & RESUMPTION OF SERVICES
Following the peace agreement, telecom service restoration in the North region and other areas where services have been disconnected due to security reasons have been given due attention. The restoration was done by mobilizing resources and variety of telecom equipment, commercial and office equipment from different offices of our company. As a result, 943 mobile sites in 186 cities and Woredas as well as 1,886 KM fiber cables were restored and services resumed. 22 of our service centers located in 20 cities have resumed their operation following the repair and maintenance works, and 38 financial institutions in 86 cities and Woredas were able to restore fixed broadband internet and resume their services.
CHALLENGES AND UNDERTAKEN SOLUTIONS
Our company has faced various challenges during the budget year: Service outage due to the crisis in the North region and some other parts of the country, inability to do timely restoration, rehabilitation works, provisioning and maintenance works, power interruption, lack of foreign currency. Furthermore, fiber and copper cable vandalism, land acquisition delay, shortage of construction materials, fraud, shortage of fuel etc were among the main challenges in the budget year. Various technological and business interventions have been made to deal with the challenges on the top of multiple coordination efforts made with relevant entities, including pooling and sharing resources with infrastructure organizations. As a result, encouraging results have been recorded and improvement are seen compared to the previous years.
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS
The outstanding performance recorded amid the challenges and the competitive market is very encouraging and motivating for more success. It is also a proof of our company’s capability and an indication that the market has a huge potential.
This achievement is only made possible because of the alignment and collaboration of the Ethio telecom Board of Directors with the management, the commitment and sense of ownership of our company’s leadership and employees to make Ethio telecom a leading digital services provider. The leadership team’s stamina and concerted effort in managing the operation and projects while dealing with challenging business environment was commendable.
In addition, the formulation and implementation of a strategy with clear vision, strategic goals and objectives has enabled the company to stay competitive. Sharing its strategy with all internal and external stakeholders has helped in its execution. The development, streamlining and execution of the cost saving initiative and the growing cost consciousness, business driven and data informed timely decisions, efficient and proper resource utilization, alignment and collaboration with business partners and other stakeholders, company’s capabilities (huge Network and system infrastructure, wide presence and accessibility through its business partners and service centers, working system, employees with extensive experience and skills, as well as our loyal customers are key success factors behind the outstanding results recorded in the budget year.
Finally, we would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to our Board of directors, our employees, our customers, vendors, business partners, the media and other stakeholders for their contribution to the outstanding performance in the budget year.
18 JULY 2023