Cell C says it has swung into the black, reporting a surprise full-year profit of R540m after 16 years, the first since its start-up in 2001. For years, the company has been weighed down by massive debt and underperformance. Cell C’s loss for the 2015 financial year was R5.6bn. Cell C chief financial officer Robert Pasley said on Tuesday that much of the loss in 2015 had been the result of unrealised foreign exchange losses. The company had increased earnings before interest and tax by R1.26bn in 2016 compared with 2015, he said. "This increase contributed greatly in the company moving from a loss to a profit position in 2017. [Most] of the remainder of the movement was made up of foreign exchange gains due to the stronger rand." The business is still not out of the woods, however, as it will require substantial capital expenditure (capex) to compete aggressively against its rivals. Its R2.8bn infrastructure funding for 2017 is still a fraction of that of its competitors. MTN SA wil...

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