Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has hit and, in some cases, exceeded all of its revenue targets in the company’s 2020 budget, which was adjusted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Garry Sinclair told Guardian Business yesterday, adding that the company has done better than it thought it would have in the midst of the pandemic.
Sinclair added that the company expects to hit financial targets set for 2021 as well, as the company eyes improved cash flow in both 2020 and next year.
He said at the outset of the pandemic, lockdowns designed to stem the spread of the virus led to dips in sales and bill payment; the veritable full stop that punctuated the tourism sector tanked the company’s business-to-business (B2B) portfolio.
“We took a hit on our B2B business with respect to the hospitality segment of it, but we took a hit in the small and medium businesses portion of it as well, amongst a bunch of other enterprises that were adversely affected,” said Sinclair.
However, as government’s COVID-19 protocols loosened, Sinclair said BTC began to reach its budget targets and regain ground lost in the early days of COVID-19.
“Our post-COVID budget fashioned in April for the rest of the year, based on the initial impact that we saw coming from the fallout that I just mentioned… we have managed to beat all of those budgets,” he said.
“All of those monthly projections we made subsequent to April, essentially how bad we thought it as going to be… . While the economy has been bad with intermittent and sometimes really drawn out lockdown periods that have resulted in the dislocation we thought would occur, we have performed a lot better than we thought.
“Does it mean we are back to pre-COVID levels, no.”
Sinclair noted that the positive results were achieved with a combination of resilient and growing government business; the resurgence of bill payments thanks to increased outlets and digital options; the resilience of the financial services industry and the need to expand its digital capacity during the pandemic; the growth in post-paid plans and the return of pre-paid plans; and a more efficient operating model for the company.
“The government has continued not only to pay its bills, but to purchase additional service. So we got some really good bounce back from the government,” Sinclair said.
“Financial services has stayed, remained pretty resilient and has increased because they have had to migrate to a more online, digital-based business and operate with the customers through digital channels. They’ve actually ordered additional capacity, internet and broadband connectivity capacity.
“We’ve really seen our mobile post-paid business grow every month this year since the pandemic,” he pointed out.