Manx Telecom share price rises after revealing "solid" annual figures

 
Oliver Gill
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The Isle of Man is famous for its annual motorbike racing festival (Source: Getty)

Manx Telecom, which operates the Isle of Man's telecoms network, today revealed it is generating annual sales equivalent to almost £1,000 per person living on the island.

Shares rose one per cent in the wake of the news.

The figures

Revenue rose by 1.5 per cent to £81m, with underlying earnings of £28m, the same as 2015.

Margins were steady at 34 per cent and operating profit was broadly flat at £18.5m.

Reported results were hit by a £4.3m charge from the firm's transformation programme.

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Earnings per share before the impact of exceptional items were 14.4p and the firm paid a dividend of 10.9p per share, rewarding investors with a yield of more than five per cent.

Why it's interesting

The clue is in the name, but Manx Telecom provides telecoms and broadband services to the 85,888 people that live on the Isle of Man. In other words, the firm that was born as part of the privatisation of BT in the 1980s generated almost £1,000 of revenue for every Manx inhabitant.

The firm is keen to dismiss the "M-word" but aside from a handful of micro players, it effectively has the monopoly on the provision of telecoms services to homes and businesses. It is regulated by the Isle of Man Communications Commission, rather than the mainland watchdog Ofcom.

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Manx Telecom's business division benefits from the proliferation of financial services and gaming companies that are based on the island.

The group floated on Aim in 2014, with owners HG Capital and CPS Partners exiting, and has since attracted the support of many heavy-hitting asset managers. Current top 10 investors include Standard Life, Aberdeen Asset Management, Axa and M&G.

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The firm's transformation programme, which Manx Telecom said will provide the foundations for it to grow its business, will continue in 2017.

What the company said

Chief executive Gary Lamb said: “2016 has been another solid year for Manx Telecom and is in line with the Board’s expectations."

The core business remains highly cash generative and we continue to see growth across many parts of the company.

“We have undertaken a number of initiatives in the year aimed at generating future growth. We launched a business designed to identify new opportunities, we commenced a transformation programme to reshape the company and, finally, we have continued to invest in our infrastructure and operational systems.

Looking ahead, we remain confident in the outlook for the group, reflected in our commitment to maintain our progressive dividend policy. We continue to generate strong cash flow, which enables us to create value for shareholders and support our ongoing investment in the Isle of Man.

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