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Potraz records increase in revenue

by Staff reporter
13 Apr 2022 at 06:35hrs | Views
The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe  (Potraz), recorded significant revenue growth in all service markets in 2021 but also spent a lot more.

Presenting the 2021 sector performance report, Potraz director-general Dr Gift Machengete said the total revenue generated by the postal and courier sector increased by 3,1 percent to reach $468.3 million in the fourth quarter of last year, from $454.1 million recorded in the third quarter.

But operating costs grew by an even higher margin of 9,7 percent to reach $401.9 million from $366.3 million thanks to the inflationary economic environment.

"Administration costs, line haul costs and transit charges continue to constitute the bulk of postal and courier operating costs and the capital expenditure was mainly on delivery vehicles," Dr Machengete said.

"The year 2021 was characterized by increased reliance on work–from–home, e-learning and e-conferencing resulting from the Covid-19 effects. As such, there was an increased demand for online or internet connection.

"Increased demand for internet connection as well as the dynamic developments and fast-changing technological advances added pressure to the sector in terms of service delivery. Liquidity constraints coupled with the sector's inability to have foreign direct investment meant much of investment was financed by retained income."

Dr Machengete said investment in the sector was depressed given the sector's dependency on foreign equipment for new infrastructure and maintenance.

Declining exchange rates also affected the purchasing power of both consumers and service providers in real terms. Dr Machegete said this year the industry is expected to focus on more innovation to deal with pandemics as well as emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine learning, artificial intelligence, and distributed ledger amongst others.

"The various economic reforms by the Government of Zimbabwe have potential to positively transform the economy in 2022. However, as with the previous year, cost escalations are expected to continue for as long as the dual currency system remains in practice.

"Hence, the intricacy of balancing service affordability and operator viability remains a priority for the regulator to address, while fiscal interventions may be necessary. It is hoped that the recent liberalisation of the foreign currency market will improve foreign currency availability to the sector for investment in network expansion and upgrades for inclusive, high quality service delivery," he said.

Source - The Herald
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