JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms said on Thursday that headline earnings per share (HEPS) in its six months to end-November 2019 would rise at least 20% as it recovers from impairments it sustained in the prior comparative period.

In the six months ended November 2018, fair-value losses totaling R493m were recognised, while the group’s share of equity accounted losses in Cell C amounting to R133m were recognised.

No further fair-value losses related to these assets were sustained in the current period, and HEPS would thus improve by at least 3c from the prior period’s headline loss per share of 15.02c, Blue Label said.

Blue Label is Cell C’s largest shareholder, and that company has struggled to make consistent profits since it became SA’s third mobile operator in 2001. Cell C has also grappled with a hefty debt burden.

Cell C’s declining fortunes have resulted in both Blue Label and Net1 writing their combined R7.5bn investment in the operator down to nil.

Blue Label’s share price was unchanged at R3.16 in afternoon trade on Thursday, having fallen 79% since the beginning of 2018.


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