DFA underlines EBITDA status

By Gareth Vorster

20 June 2012

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) CEO, Gustav Smit says that the company is EBITDA positive, and has been since year one despite its continued infrastructure investment.

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) CEO, Gustav Smit says that the company is EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) positive, and has been since year one despite its continued infrastructure investment.

In a mere four years, DFA has evolved into the largest open access fibre infrastructure provider in Southern Africa with more than 6,000km worth of infrastructure already in place, following capex to-date of in excess of R3.2 billion since inception in 2008, and R1.2 billion in 2011 alone.

The group says it aims to spend a further R1.2 billion in capex in the current financial year to deploy its fibre infrastructure, which should translate into 2,000 additional kilometres.

Smit told BusinessTech: “We are EBITDA positive. Obviously the interest we pay and appreciation is massive, but as long as we keep rolling out infrastructure, that will continue to be the case.”

“If we stop building tomorrow, we would be positive in one year, but we keep building, and as long as we invest in new networks, we won’t be bottom-line positive,” he said.

Smit said that the group does not require a lot of equity, with sufficient funds to support its roll-out plans for the financial year ending in March 2013.

Listed group, Remgro has an effective 43.8% interest in CIV Fibre Network Solutions, the holding company of Dark Fibre Africa. “We had two rounds of equity injected into the company by Remgro last year,” said Smit, adding that partners and company executives had an approximate 20% stake in the group.

CIV is privately owned by CIV Holdings, New GX Capital Holdings, and Founder Management. Both Community Investment Holdings and New GX Capital Holdings are 100% black owned companies. Together they own 56% of CIV.