On 25 May, GO plc published its Interim Directors’ Statement covering its operations up to 31 March 2012. During this period, the telecommunications market remained highly competitive and although GO maintained its overall client base, average revenue per user (ARPU) levels have declined. Moreover, the mobile segment was impacted by the lower termination rates (as imposed by the regulator) from the second half of 2011 which resulted in a lower revenue for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first three months of 2011. Nonetheless, GO reported that revenues remain strong across all main product lines and are expected to remain so during the remainder of the year. The Directors also noted that the Group is expected to benefit from increased business in the mobile data services following the roll-out of its new mobile network as well as higher demand for its TV services after GO enhances its premium sports line up with the addition of the Champions League later this year.
On the costs side, the Group has achieved savings on various discretionary expense items especially in respect of employee related costs in line with the Group’s efforts to improve its processes and to right size its operations. On the other hand, the Group is currently being impacted by one-off charges related to the changeover from its legacy mobile infrastructure to the new network.
Overall, profitability during the first quarter is marginally ahead of that registered in the comparable quarter last year. Furthermore, the Group maintains a healthy cash generation.
Forthnet is expected to announce its financial results for the first quarter of 2012 by the end of May.
The announcement also made reference to the completed property exchange between GO and the Government of Malta whereby GO relinquished its title and rights over the land in Qawra in exchange for the full title on eleven exchanges and offices around the Maltese Islands. The Group is currently in the process of transferring a number of these properties to Malta Properties Limited – a wholly owned subsidiary of GO which will be entrusted with the management of all the properties. In this regard, the Group is also assessing the degree to which the properties may be unencumbered from technology infrastructure to be able to formulate a strategy for the next few years on these properties.