MultiChoice Repatriates $184 Million from Nigeria Amid Financial Challenges

MultiChoice Nigeria Increased Price Of GOtv, DStv

MultiChoice Group, the prominent pay-TV operator, has disclosed that it repatriated $184 million (approximately N192.09 billion) from Nigeria during the financial year ending March 2024. This information was revealed in the company’s consolidated financial statements released on Wednesday, highlighting a significant increase from the previous year’s remittance.

According to the report, MultiChoice cited an average exchange rate of N1044 to USD for FY24, compared to N684 to USD in FY23. Despite the higher remittance amount, the company incurred remittance losses amounting to $59 million, a decrease from $132 million in FY23, attributed to fluctuating exchange rates.

During the year, MultiChoice faced a 13% decline in subscribers across key markets including Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, and Zambia. Economic challenges, particularly in Nigeria, impacted customer spending on entertainment services, contributing to a tough operating environment. The company reported that economic pressures led to a decline in active subscribers by 1.2 million to 8.1 million by the end of FY24.

Explaining the market conditions, MultiChoice stated, “The Rest of Africa business saw a decline mainly due to economic pressures, with high inflation and severe foreign exchange depreciation affecting consumer purchasing power.” These factors, compounded by the absence of major events like the FIFA World Cup and Nigerian elections that boosted FY23 subscriber numbers, contributed to the subscriber base contraction.

The company highlighted its strategic focus on managing active subscriber metrics amidst challenging economic conditions, aiming to optimize retention and activity rates. Despite efforts to adapt pricing and subscription models, MultiChoice acknowledged that many potential customers struggled with consistent payment ability, exacerbated by unreliable power supply affecting service accessibility.

In addition to operational challenges, MultiChoice resolved a tax dispute with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, agreeing to a settlement amount of N35.4 billion ($37.3 million). The settlement aimed to resolve outstanding tax assessments on MultiChoice Nigeria Limited and MultiChoice Africa Holdings BV, providing a clearer financial outlook moving forward.

Moreover, the company has entered into a Cooperation Agreement with Groupe Canal+ SA following Canal+’s acquisition of more than 35% shareholding in MultiChoice Group, triggering a mandatory offer. Canal+ now holds a 45.20% stake in MultiChoice Group, indicating strategic alignment amidst industry consolidation.

Despite these challenges, MultiChoice remains committed to navigating the complex economic landscape in its key markets, focusing on sustaining operational efficiency and subscriber engagement strategies amidst fluctuating market conditions.

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