Botswana Telecommunications Corporation has started a country-wide journey to drum up enthusiasm among members of the public to buy its shares through the Initial Public Offer (IPO).
The journey described as a feat by the Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Molefhi started at the Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC) this Monday.
The team will address another BTCL IPO Awareness Pitso today (Friday) in Francistown before road shows around the country.
Speaking at the BTCL IPO Awareness Pitso in Gaborone, Molefhi said the listing of the company is historic and will offer Batswana the opportunity to own a piece of the business which has proven to be the building block of this economy.
“This is an opportunity for all Batswana and we welcome and invite participation from all. For that to happen Batswana must have a strong understanding of what an IPO mean and how it will affect their lives. An IPO is the first offer by a company of its shares for sale to members of the public. Government is offering 49 percent of the shares of BTCL through this IPO of which 5 percent has been reserved for BTCL employees. The remaining 51 percent of the shares will be retained by government,” said the Minister.
Assuring the public to invest in BTCL, the Chief Executive Officer Paul Taylor said they have been in business as the incumbent telecommunications service provider in the country.
“Today we have the telecommunications infrastructure that is one of the most modern in Africa. We are proudly the only PTO License holder operating both the traditional fixed and mobile networks.”
Taylor said BTCL has an expansive footprint across Botswana.
He said, “beMOBILE, the mobile arm of BTCL has probably the widest network coverage in Botswana reaching almost 90% of the population. We have approved a substantial amount to allow BTCL to invest in the state of the art technology. We are becoming a fully customer-centric fixed and mobile and converged (FMC) organisation that delivers value.”
Explaining the financials of the company Taylor assured members of the public that the revenues have grown substantially in the past several years driven largely by mobile network and Data and Private Circuits.
“In the financial year 2012/13 our revenues surged past the billion mark to stand at P1, 375 billion compared to P1, 187 billion recorded in the 2011/12 financial period. Our profit before tax increased by 20% from P237 million recorded in 2011/12 to stand at P284 million in 2012/13 with net profit margin growing to 21% from 20% in the previous year,” he said.
According to Taylor the long term financial outlook for BTCL is positive and there is a significant opportunity for the company to continue building a profitable and sustainable business that is better able to support Botswana’s economic development now and beyond.
He said, “We continue to invest in developing our team; our most important asset.
The team has over the past 12 months attended courses at world class universities such as the University of Stellenbosch, the Huawei University of Technology, the University of Botswana and many more.”