Paratus to build N$120m data centre

By Hilary Mare

THE Paratus Namibia board of directors has approved the construction of a data centre in Windhoek with a total value of N$120 million (including the erf), the company’s financial statements for the 16 months ended June 30 reveal.

The data centre will be 1 300 square metres in size and will host 150 cabinets of which Google as anchor tenant will occupy 50 cabinets, the statement explained.

The board also approved the construction of the cable landing station and power feeding equipment totalling N$33 million. The cable landing station consists of the building and other terminal facilities (active and passive) which are required to land the Equiano Submarine Cable System.

The financials also show that Paratus Namibia delivered commendable revenue growth against the backdrop of a weak local and global economy. The company realised a turnover of N$431.9 million (2019: N$283.7 million), which represents a growth of 52 percent. Although the enterprise business experienced a turn during the last three months of the financial year, the growth in consumer business compensated for this decline in enterprise business.

The net profit before taxation for the same period amounts to N$36.7 million (2019: N$13.8 million) and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounts to N$101.2 million (2019: N$49.7 million). This represents a growth of 166 percent and 104 percent respectively. On 12 months like-for-like basis revenue increased by 14 percent and net profit before taxation and EBITDA increased by 117 percent and 53 percent respectively.

EBITDA mirrors the company’s ability to generate cash flows from operations. The disparity between profit after taxation and EBITDA stems from the large depreciation charges recorded on infrastructure deployed.

“The growth in profitability is mainly attributable to the improved operating margins coming from the extensive infrastructure roll-out and once off revenue derived from Local Area Network (LAN) installations in new commercial buildings. For the 2021 financial year, a further N$150 million investment into infrastructure was approved by the board. This investment will mainly be earmarked for fibre to the X (FTTx) roll-out and will be funded by own cash resources. The directors are of the opinion that the continued investment in infrastructure assets bodes well for both revenue growth and improved operating margins,” the company said.

The financials also note that the directors have considered the impact of the pandemic on the business and believe the group is well positioned with sufficient liquid reserves to continue as a going concern.

“The group is not only focused on managing the risks brought about by Covid-19, but also on the opportunities it creates in the accelerated digitalisation it has brought about. The group is well positioned to benefit from this evolution, especially given its focus on growth in data, digital and financial services businesses in the execution of our strategy. The extensive interventions that have been implemented are expected to continue to safeguard the sustainability of the business in the prevailing challenging environment,” the statement reflected.