Bezeq Israel Telecom would resume dividend payouts after more than three years as it reported lower fourth-quarter net profit and forecast largely flat earnings for 2022, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.
Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms group, said it would distribute 50% of semi-annual net profit, starting with a 240 million shekel ($75 million) payout in May.
It last paid a dividend in October 2018 before a large writedown in its TV business.
Gil Sharon, Bezeq’s chairman, said the resumption of dividends was due to strong 2021 results along with robust cash generation and a 10% reduction in its debt.
Bezeq posted net profit of 256 million shekels in the October-December period excluding one-time items, compared with 277 million shekels a year earlier. Revenue gained 2.5% to 2.26 billion shekels.
For 2022, Bezeq forecast adjusted net profit of 1.0-1.1 billion shekels, compared with 1.15 billion in 2021. It estimated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 3.6-3.7 billion shekels, versus 3.76 billion last year.
The company said its fibre network, launched a year ago, now reaches 1.17 million households, or 46% of total households, and it has 120,000 subscribers.
Mobile unit Pelephone – Israel’s third largest mobile operator – recorded quarterly net profit of 13 million shekels, up from a 12 million shekel loss a year earlier. Revenue grew 13% to 602 million shekels amid the resumption of foreign travel that boosted roaming service revenue. Its subscriber base rose to 2.576 million – 590,000 of them connected to its 5G network – from 2.442 million a year ago.
Bezeq’s satellite TV unit Yes posted a narrower net loss of 17 million shekels, as it added new subscribers while transitioning to Internet-based broadcasts.
Shares of Bezeq opened 0.3% higher in Tel Aviv.