LIME profits down


Long standing telecommunications company, Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited has become the latest in a handful of local companies reporting profits in what remains a harsh economic environment.

But the business, which trades as LIME, has seen that net income drop by $21.3 million over the past year, partly due to a $31.2 million hike in operating expenses, $12 million related to employee expenses.

Profits in the financial year ended March 31 were $37.9 million compared to $59.2 million in 2011.

With Country Manager Alex McDonald recounting a difficult 2012, made so partly through the increased cost of business and “industrial relations matters”, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Roger Inglis said the results were “positive” amid challenges.

Both officials, as well as Chairman Sir Allan Fields, reported on their organisation’s performance last year, recently-released in C&W/LIME’s 2012 annual report.

Inglis said the company’s “positive results” over the past year were driven by growth in broadband and fixed line revenue of seven per cent and five per cent respectively, better product mix to manage and control cost of sales, and implementation of the new modern 4G network.

“The company realised a 0.14 per cent increase in total revenue compared to 2011 (one per cent decrease from 2010). This was driven by increases in broadband revenue (seven per cent) and fixed line revenue (five per cent),” he noted.

“Decreases in mobile and enterprise revenue (five per cent and four per cent respectively from prior year) had minimal impact on the overall picture.”

The CFO said C&W “continued to reap the results of its structural adjustments this year by realising revenue growth over the last 12 months of operations”.

“The company realised total revenue of $372.9 million with income per share of 27 cents. These positive results were achieved against the forces of a flat economy, declining domestic disposable income and internal transitionary measures,” the officer said.

“But the company has remained resolute in its objectives to deliver a world class service to the market by maintaining the quality of service, investing in its plant to modernise its service and managing its cost based to boost efficiency.

McDonald LIME had “taken several steps over the last financial year to trim costs, add value and make LIME more nimble and more efficient”.

“We have reaped some success in this regard and we continue into the new financial year with a mantra to maintain this approach to our business,” he said.

“We will build on those steps already taken which include, seriously addressing our power consumption by going green with solar and other more efficient mechanisms, ruinously managing our travel and entertainment budgets, saying no to unnecessary discretionary spend and being respectfully prudent in cash management.”

He said officials believed “achieving the balance between what is right for the business and what is right for the company is an important consideration in preparing the company to remain competitive and relevant in a market which is still struggling economically”. (SC)

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