TELECOMS giant Econet Wireless has divulged that it has created over 25 000 jobs in Zimbabwe through its distribution network since its establishment.
Econet corporate communications manager Ranga Mberi told Southern Eye Business that the country’s largest mobile operator was one of Zimbabwe’s biggest employers.
He said Econet had since its inception invested over $1,2 billion in the country, with at least $1 billion being in the past five years alone.
He said Econet would continue to invest in what was required to meet the demands of its customers.
“Our investment in new products, among them EcoCash, data services and others, is already bearing fruit and investment in overlay services will continue,” he said.
“Customer service will remain a key focus area for us as we look to enhance customer experience on our network.
“Econet directly employs over 1 000 employees, but over 25 000 more jobs have been created in our vast distribution network, which includes individual entrepreneurs, dealers and agents,” he added.
Econet reported a 30% decline in after-tax profit to $49,6 million for the six months to August compared with the same period last year as revenue growth continues to slow.
Revenue was up 4,2% to $392,3 million, a marked but not unexpected slowdown on prior years when it averaged double digit figures following the effective dollarisation of the economy in 2009.
The earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation margin was at 40% compared to 45% in the previous year.
The group’s net cash generated from operations sharply declined to $117 million from $186 million on weakening consumer spending triggered by a slowdown in economic activity.
Capital expenses such as depreciation and amortisation increased by 32% to $60,4 million in line with the growth of the asset base and as a result of the amortisation of the licence renewal fee of $137,5 million.
The company closed the period with $94 million in cash and announced a dividend of $0,61 per share.
Econet’s subscriber base grew to just over nine million by August 31 from about 8,5 million previously.