Released on July 7, 2022
SaskTel today reported its financial results for the 2021-22 fiscal year including net income of $104.4 million and operating revenues of $1,300.9 million. These results highlight SaskTel's continued momentum to expand network availability to more Saskatchewan residents and communities and implement customer service improvements.
"This past year SaskTel invested $465.1 million in capital expenditures in our province," Minister Responsible for SaskTel Don Morgan said. "This investment demonstrates SaskTel's ongoing commitment to not only provide the best customer experience today, but also create additional opportunities for future network capabilities and enhancements."
"No matter where you look, no matter where you go, SaskTel is always here," SaskTel President and CEO Doug Burnett said. "Our focus remains on providing the best networks and services, to support our customers and our communities, and to create a strong, innovative Saskatchewan."
SaskTel's revenue is composed primarily of wireless network services and equipment revenue (47.2 per cent), fixed broadband and data (21.8 per cent), wireline communications (13.6 per cent), and maxTV™ service (7.7 per cent).
Response to COVID-19 and conflict in the Ukraine
Throughout the last two years, SaskTel has consistently been there for its employees and customers. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued on, they waived data overage charges for business and consumer customers on SaskTel's postpaid wireless data plans, noSTRINGS Prepaid wireless plans and SaskTel fusion Internet plans from April 12 to June 30, 2021.
In February 2022, in response to the war in Ukraine, SaskTel announced some fees would be waived to ensure customers could connect with family and friends most impacted by the situation. Long distance charges for SaskTel wireless, landline and business calls, and international text messaging made from Canada to Ukraine were waived. Roaming charges for calls, texts, and data overages for customers currently in Ukraine were also waived.
SaskTel's financial measures are focused on creating shareholder value, generating revenue and earnings, and effectively leveraging its capital investments. These measures provide important insight into its current financial performance and overall progress enhancing its long-term financial stability. SaskTel's Return on Equity (ROE) is above the target of 8.6 per cent, due to exceeding their net income target of $100.0 million by $4.4 million.
SaskTel declared dividends of $94.0 million to Crown Investments Corporation during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. During the last five fiscal years, SaskTel has paid a total of $543.1 million in dividends while maintaining a debt ratio within industry standards.
At the end of the fiscal year 2021-22, SaskTel's debt ratio increased to 54.6 per cent, an increase of 4.2 per cent from the previous year. The overall level of net debt increased $225.8 million, primarily to fund continued investment in their fixed and wireless networks through investment in property, plant and equipment, and non-physical assets and spectrum acquired in auctions.
While revenue decreased by $16.8 million due to ongoing declines in legacy wireline services and decreased year-over-year demand for customer premise equipment, this decline is partially offset by growth in fixed broadband and data revenues from a growing subscriber base and increased revenue per customer as customers opt for higher internet speeds and more services delivered on SaskTel's fibre optic network. The decline was also offset by increased wireless revenues, which resulted from a growing wireless subscriber base.
SaskTel's mission to provide an exceptional customer experience begins with its North Star - broadband. They endeavor to deliver fast and reliable broadband service throughout Saskatchewan by continuing to invest in enhancements to improve the coverage, capacity, reliability, and speed of their networks. SaskTel invested $465.1 million in capital expenditures in 2021-22.
Of the $465.1 million, $295.2 million (2020-21 - $283.9 million) was spent on property, plant and equipment, including Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), wireless networks (5G, LTE and Wi-Fi), Access Network Demand, and other network improvements. The remaining $168.7 million (2020-21 - $24.3 million) was spent on intangible assets such as 3500 MHz Wireless spectrum and customer self-serve systems, accounting reporting systems, and billing systems.
As of March 31, 2022, SaskTel's wireless network includes more than 1,000 cell towers, over 700 of which are located in rural parts of the province. In 2021, Wireless Saskatchewan, one of SaskTel's most ambitious rural programs was completed. The initiative resulted in a total investment of $107 million into the province through the construction of 106 small cell sites, 89 standard macro towers, improved wireless data capacity in 11 resort areas, as well as the expansion of SaskTel fusion Internet to 34 new sites.
SaskTel also capped off the year with strong performance and growth in broadband connections. The number of accesses grew by approximately 25,000 connections, and exceeded the 2021-22 target by approximately 10,000 connections. SaskTel increased provincial coverage of homes and businesses with access to at least 50 Mbps fixed broadband download speeds to 86.0 per cent.
SaskTel continued to make a difference in our province, though numerous sponsorships and partnerships. With the environment top of mind, they also took steps to increase involvement and sponsorship of activities that have a focus on environmental sustainability or assist in promoting environmental education.
Throughout 2021-22, SaskTel contributed $2,882,921 to 548 non-profit and charitable organizations, community associations, venues, events, and partnerships in more than 144 communities throughout the province. The SaskTel Pioneers also contributed $302,096 in financial donations, $1.3 million in-kind donations, and more than 23,500 volunteer hours. SaskTel TelCare, their employee-driven charitable donation program, also gave nearly $209,000 to 47 charitable and non-profit organizations operating across Saskatchewan, a number which includes SaskTel's 50 per cent match.
Across the province, SaskTel also works with many external suppliers to provide products and services needed to operate its business and 74.8 per cent of SaskTel suppliers were located in Saskatchewan, providing economic opportunities to small and medium-sized businesses.
To view SaskTel's 2021-22 Annual Report, please visit https://www.sasktel.com/about-us/news/.
SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with approximately $1.3 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including more than 647,000 wireless accesses, 273,000 wireline network accesses, 293,000 internet and data accesses, 110,000 maxTV™ service subscribers, and 78,000 security monitoring customers. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries offer a wide range of ICT products and services including competitive voice, data and Internet services, wireless data services, maxTV™ services, data centre services, cloud-based services, security monitoring services, advertising services, and international software and consulting services. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 3,300 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Visit SaskTel at www.sasktel.com.
For more information, contact:SaskTel Media Relations