MultiChoice Group FY24: Revenue Down 5%, Trading Profit Drops 21% Amid Strategic Expansions

  • MultiChoice Group's FY24 revenue decreased by 5%, while trading profit saw a 21% decline.
  • Showmax, SuperSportBet, and Moment were successfully launched, showing strong initial user traction.
  • Despite challenges, cost optimizations led to ZAR1.9bn savings, with South Africa's margins exceeding 26%.

MultiChoice Group Limited (MCG) released its FY24 financial results on June 12, 2024. The company showed resilience amid tough conditions.

Strategic Expansion and Platform Growth

In FY24, MCG completed four years of strategic planning. It fully operationalized its three core segments: video entertainment, interactive entertainment, and fintech. Key launches included Showmax, SuperSportBet, and Moment, each demonstrating strong initial user traction.

Revenue and Profitability

Despite economic challenges, MCG achieved a 3% organic revenue growth. This was fueled by inflationary pricing and major event premieres. Total revenue, however, declined by 5% to ZAR55.968 billion due to foreign exchange headwinds and a reduced subscriber base.

The group’s trading profit dropped by 21% to ZAR7.877 billion. Showmax’s investment cycle notably reduced the group’s trading profit by ZAR1.4 billion.

Headline Figures

Here’s a snapshot of MCG’s headline financial figures for FY24:

Financial MetricFY24 (ZAR’m)FY23 (ZAR’m)YoY Change (%)
Revenue55,96859,141(5)
Operating Profit7,08010,157(30)
Trading Profit7,8779,991(21)
Free Cash Flow5892,861(79)
Core Headline Earnings per Share515828(38)
Adjusted Core Headline EPS313388(19)
Loss per Share(935)(815)(15)
Headline Loss per Share(715)(301)>(100)
Net Asset Value per Share(251)1,249>(100)

Subscriber Trends

MCG faced a 9% decline in active subscribers, primarily driven by a 13% drop in the Rest of Africa. South Africa showed more resilience, with a 5% decline.

Showmax, however, reported encouraging growth. After its February re-launch, it achieved a 16% increase in the paying subscriber base by year-end.

Cost Optimization and Cash Flow

MCG outperformed its cost optimization targets, saving ZAR1.9 billion against an initial target of ZAR0.8 billion. Set-top box subsidies were tactically reduced by ZAR1.5 billion year-on-year.

Despite these efforts, free cash flow dropped 79% to ZAR589 million. This decline was largely due to increased cash flow investments in Showmax and the adverse effects of weaker currencies.

Segmental Performance

South Africa’s trading margins remained strong, exceeding 26%. The Rest of Africa increased its trading profit to ZAR1.3 billion, reflecting a 48% year-on-year growth. However, Showmax posted trading losses of ZAR2.6 billion, which was within the guided range of ZAR3.0-4.0 billion.

Segmental Revenue and Profit Breakdown

SegmentRevenue FY24 (ZAR’m)YoY Change (%)Trading Profit FY24 (ZAR’m)YoY Change (%)
South Africa33,556(2)8,792(9)
Rest of Africa19,661(13)1,32548
Technology1,72417396(35)
Showmax1,02722(2,636)>(100)

Impact of Foreign Exchange and Macroeconomic Conditions

MCG operates in diverse markets, exposing it to significant foreign exchange volatility. This volatility impacted reported revenue and trading profit, especially in the Rest of Africa, where revenues are earned in local currencies but costs are largely USD-denominated.

Key Performance Indicators

KPIFY24 ReportedCurrency ImpactOrganic GrowthFY24 OrganicYoY Reported (%)YoY Organic (%)
Subscribers (’000)15,685n/a(1,621)15,685(9)(9)
South Africa Subscribers7,607n/a(409)7,607(5)(5)
Rest of Africa Subscribers8,078n/a(1,212)8,078(13)(13)
ARPU (ZAR) Blended229(23)13229(4)5

Leadership Changes

MCG appointed two new independent non-executive directors: Mr. A Zappia and Ms. D Klein, effective September 1, 2023. Mr. JJ Volkwyn stepped down as lead independent director but remains on the board. Mr. MI Patel stepped down as chair, with Mr. E Masilela appointed as the new chair on April 23, 2024.

Dividend Policy

Due to commitments under the Cooperation Agreement with Canal+, MCG did not declare a dividend for FY24.

Conclusion

MCG navigated a challenging year with strategic expansions and cost optimizations. Despite a drop in subscribers and revenue, the company’s investments in new platforms showed promising initial results. The group remains committed to its growth strategy while managing economic and currency challenges.


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