MultiChoice Group Ltd., Africa’s largest pay-TV company, has disclosed its third consecutive semi-annual loss, citing challenges related to foreign exchange fluctuations in Nigeria and persistent power outages in South Africa. The company reported a net loss of 1.32 billion rand ($72.4 million) for the six months ending September 30.

The recorded loss is primarily attributed to the poor performance of the naira against the dollar, stemming from the mid-June decision to allow the Naira to trade more freely, resulting in a 40% devaluation. MultiChoice was compelled to revalue inter-group loans, leading to significant foreign exchange losses.

Despite adding 1.4 million new subscribers in FY23, subscriber growth in the Rest of Africa was subdued in 1H FY24 due to inflationary pressures in key markets like Nigeria. The active subscriber base remained stable at 8.9 million, and subscription revenues grew 14% organically. However, revenue of ZAR10.5 billion was flat, with a weaker ZAR against the USD offsetting the impact of weaker local currencies relative to the USD.

South Africa faced additional challenges, including rolling blackouts contributing to a 5% decline in the number of active days per subscriber. This, coupled with currency woes, impacted MultiChoice’s financial performance.

MultiChoice’s shares fell 0.6% in Johannesburg, closing on Wednesday after experiencing a 3.6% plunge to a record earlier in the day.

Despite these setbacks, MultiChoice plans to relaunch its Showmax streaming service in the second half of the financial year and introduce a sports betting service in South Africa following the success of a similar offering in Nigeria.

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