World VoIP NewsMT posts drop in 2009 net income on higher taxesMT posts drop in 2009 net income on higher taxes

MT posts drop in 2009 net income on higher taxes

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Mauritius Telecom (MT) said its net profits in FY2009 dropped 23.8% to MUR1.40 billion (USD42.17 million), compared to the previous year, largely the result of the introduction of new special taxes and a drop in tourism.
Reuters quotes its chief executive officer Sarat Lallah as saying: ‘The fall in profits is due to the introduction of a solidarity levy of 1.5% on turnover and 5% on profits of telecom operators … The government also introduced in 2009 a corporate social responsibility tax of 2% on profits. These taxes have resulted in a shortfall of MUR410 million.’

The financial results were further impacted by a dramatic drop in tourism on the island following the global financial crisis. The CEO noted that service revenue from international roaming fell by 13% as less people visited the country. MT is the dominant fixed line and mobile provider on the island and a leading ISP. It hopes to list on the nation’s stock exchange in the near future.

On a positive note, MT reported that turnover increased to MUR7.1 billion from MUR6.8 billion in 2008, while pre-tax profits increased 4% year-on-year to MUR2.09 billion. Lallah attributed the growth in part to a strong performance from its mobile division. The mobile market expanded 6.7% last year, he said, contributing strongly to the group’s overall results. Mauritius is home to around one million mobile subscribers of which 640,000 are signed up to Orange, a unit of MT.

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