South African pay television company, MultiChoice Group, has reported a $38 million loss before tax in its financial year ended March 31, 2024, attributing the loss to currency volatility and weak consumer spending.

According to Reuters, "Growing debt woes in many African nations and risk aversion by investors buying African exports have put pressure on foreign currency reserves, creating volatility.

"Volatile and weaker local currencies, power challenges in markets like South Africa, and a weak consumer environment due to rising inflation and high interest rates have created an extremely challenging environment for the group's customers and operating segments," MultiChoice said.

Reported group revenue fell 5% to 56 billion rand, but grew 3% when currency swings were stripped out, the owner of Dstv and Showmax video streaming businesses said.

MultiChoice said it will accelerate its cost-saving programme, with a target of 2 billion rand in the new financial year. The company, which operates across 50 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, also plans to cut capital expenditure and prioritise customer retention.

Its active subscribers fell 9% to 15.68 million, mainly due to a 13% decline in the Rest of Africa business as mass-market customers in countries like Nigeria had to prioritise basic necessities over entertainment.

The South African business recorded a 5% decline in subscribers, as many would-be customers could not afford to consistently pay for its product or chose not to subscribe due to rolling power cuts last year.

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