Bezeq Communications, Israel’s largest communications provider, reported a massive loss of NIS 2.31 billion. This monumental loss is primarily attributed to a NIS 1.63 billion write-off of the value of the satellite broadcaster YES. Bezeq purchased YES from Shaul Alovitch, who was the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, but directly owned YES at the time of the purchase. In addition, the company announced that it was setting aside an additional NIS 559 million for early retirement.
Bezeq reported a total revenue of NIS 9.32 billion in 2018, a drop of 4.8% from the year earlier. The company’s operating loss for the year totaled NIS 548 million, as compared to an operating profit of NIS 2.11 billion in 2017. Bezeq’s net loss for 2018 totaled NIS 1.07 billion after taxes. The company, which had been paying high dividends for the last few years, has announced it will cease its distribution of dividends for the next two years.
Bezeq chairman Shlomo Rodav said, “Over the last twelve months, we have implemented profound change in the way the group operates in order to conform to the most stringent corporate governance standards. At the same time, we have made significant strategic moves to give the Bezeq Group the ability to continue to successfully cope with the technological, competitive and regulatory changes. In this context, we have taken many steps, including reductions in the management team and streamlining processes in the subsidiaries, while negotiating with the labor unions, with a new collective arrangement already signed by YES. YES also began a significant project to migrate from satellite to IP broadcasting. Concurrently, Bezeq Fixed-Line is implementing a significant employee retirement plan that will lead to material efficiencies in the company.”