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Regional Expansion To Benefit Fijians: ATH Group

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) Group continues to expand its presence in the Pacific region. This was part of the discussion during the ATH 19th annual general meeting yesterday. In an
24 Aug 2017 08:49
Regional Expansion To Benefit Fijians: ATH Group

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) Group continues to expand its presence in the Pacific region.

This was part of the discussion during the ATH 19th annual general meeting yesterday.

In an interview afterwards, Chairman Ajith Kodagoda said expanding into the region provides opportunities for Fijians to work abroad.

“We are also generating employment for our young people in Fiji to earn more and get more experience.”

He added that it is important to support the locally owned companies so that they continue to grow.

Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary, Ivan Fong told the meeting with the expansion into the region, they are looking at other businesses and generally aiming to grow the size of the business to get into economies of scale.

“Since ATH Fiji’s foray into regional expansion in Kiribati, we have continued to forge ahead and during the year on March, 27, we acquired Telecom Vanuatu Limited.

Together with the Bluesky (the Samoans and the Cook Islands) transaction on foot, he said that their acquisitions both locally and in the region are made with the intent of first expanding their footprint. Then improving its networks and services with the long-term view of improving returns for shareholders.

On the Bluesky front, Mr Fong said that the Samoan Telecommunications Regulator had approved the changes of control for Bluesky Samoa Limited.

“ATH has also made the regulatory applications in the United States on America and the Cook Islands and is awaiting similar approvals from the relevant authorities.”

Mr Fong also discussed the financial status of ATH for the 2016-2017 financial year.

Some of the key figures include:
• Group consolidated sales revenue growth of 10.7 per cent from $356 million to $394 million.
• A 14.3 per cent improvement in the Group’s gross profit from $224 million to $256 million.
• An increase in consolidated Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 13.6 percent to $153 million.
•Profit attributable to equity holders of $54 million. (tax increase)

“Our existing subsidiaries have all performed well and continue to experience strong growth in data and internet traffic.”

Mr Fong added that over the last five years the capital growth portion and compounded annual growth rate was between 20 – 30 per cent on the share prices per year.

Market captitalisation was about $700 million, he said.

“This is a good sign from investors and shareholders that the investment and the performance improvement are on the right track.”

Mr Fong added that recognizing of dividends is important to the shareholders.
“One of the challenges we see is, Fiji being a small market.”

Edited by: Rosi Doviverata


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