By McDonald Chapalapata, contributor:
Malawi Stock Exchange-listed mobile and ICT services provider TNM plc invested over K31.5 billion in infrastructure in 2020.
This is part of the firm’s ongoing efforts of developing a sustainable business in line with its vision to be aligned with the global trends in digital transformation.
Addressing a virtual annual general meeting (AGM) for TNM last week, TNM plc Board Chairman George Partridge said the company would continue to transform its business by pioneering innovations that will transform the telecommunications sector in the country.
“We take our role in innovations very seriously. I am glad to be part of this important phase of development in this industry that will contribute immensely to the development of individuals, businesses and the Malawi economy at large,” Partridge said.
He also told the shareholders of the company that, in 2020, TNM created wealth amounting to K53.3 billion.
“We shared K36.9 billion to our stakeholders, with the greatest portion being K10.6 billion given to government through levies and taxes. Our employees got K9.9 billion of the value that TNM had created in the year,” Partridge said.
Partridge also told the shareholders that TNM’s corporate social responsibility focus areas continue to be in the areas of health, education and support for vulnerable groups saying the mobile company has contributed immensely through the traditional donations as well as providing connectivity to these important areas.
“TNM has contributed significantly towards the fight against the Covid pandemic in Malawi especially in the education and health sectors. TNM provided ICT equipment and connectivity solutions to the education sector to allow for continued access to education when physical teaching and learning was not possible,” he said.
He said they are looking ahead with great optimism and courage noting that the telecoms penetration in Malawi, at 48 percent, is still low compared to the regional markets where penetration is greater than 90 percent.
In 2021, Partridge observed, the macro-economic environment is expected to remain challenging, putting pressure on service revenue and margins.
Responding to a question from a shareholder on the declining of dividends that the company will declare to its shareholders, Partridge said the board was fully aware that dividend growth between 2019 and 2020 declined and has been below inflation.
“The dividend growth dropped in real terms due to the decline in net profits available for distribution. The dividend policy of your company is to pay out between 40 percent and 60 percent of the distributable profits for that year,” Partridge said.