According to Mohammad Frekha, the future of Telnet is bright. The holding company’s dreams and ambitions are huge and its projects are even bigger: space and nano-satellites, drones, electric cars, artificial intelligence and robotics. All future high-tech activities that the company develops or seeks to develop are aimed at driving the group into a larger league and that will ultimately benefit its shareholders and Tunisia.
This is evident from the General Meeting for the Fiscal Year 2021 (AGO), which was held on Monday, May 16, 2022 at the IACE in Berges du Lac, chaired by Sami Khoja, Chairman of the Board of Directors. And its managing director Mohammad Frikha.
Telnet Holdings posted a net profit of 4.83 million dinars (MD) for FY2021, up from 4.19 MD a year ago, up 15.05%. The company has decided to distribute about 6.07 MD of total profit. The shareholders will thus be entitled to receive a gross dividend of 0.5 dinars per share for the financial year 2021 (twice as much as one year ago), payable from May 27, 2022.
Revenue, for its part, increased by 5.91%, from 4.46 MD at the end of 2020 to 4.72 MD at the end of 2021. Revenue from participation (dividends from subsidiaries) increased by 40.59%, reaching 4.36 MD out of 3.10 MD in 2019 and 2020.
The holding company’s consolidated results stood at 9.19 MD at the end of 2021, as against 7.3 MD in 2020, an increase of 25.97%. Aggregate turnover increased 21.43%, from 39.75 MD at the end of 2020 to 48.27 MD at the end of 2021. A historic turnover that came close to 50 MD “Comments DG.
In detail, the research and development division in commodity engineering, which represents 82.04% of operating income at the end of 2021, recorded 24.53% growth (+ 27.1%), multimedia activity (10.5%) and telecom activity, compared to a year earlier due to increased business volume in electronic banking. (6.4%).
For its part, the telecom and network integration segment, which represents 5.44% of operating income at the end of 2021, grew by 30.32%. The Department of Product Life-Cycle Management (PLM), which represents 12.52% of operating income at the end of 2021, recorded a decline of 1.25%.
” Group perspectives are very important. Along with our success in the past, the future of Telnet will be very bright. I am going to outline projects for the future, important projects that we are going to get used to in order to meet the challenges. We are going to achieve something that will bring honor to our country, the launch of the first Tunisian satellite is just a small step. The Telnet Company will be a model for Tunisia, which actively and effectively participates in global technological innovation. The company today represents the Western world and modern countries, a pilot company, at the level of the Arab world and Africa which is technological development. “Mr Frekha has been hammered.
About the future projects that the company is working on, they are mainly concerned in four areas: space and nano-satellites, drones, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and robotics.
The first relates to everything related to space and satellites. The CEO says: On March 22, 2021, the first Tunisian satellite, Challenge One, was launched. Throughout the year, the company has worked on the validity of the concept: establishing the necessary procedures for data exchange, validating the concept of Internet of Things through the LoRaWAN telecommunications protocol. In 2022, the company will move forward with the development of applications in various fields of agriculture, security, energy and environment. These applications will be verified in 2022 with the implementation of pilot applications. From 2023, Telnet will move to the Challenge One related marketing services stage. At the same time, the company has received significant requests from some countries to equate the development carried out in Tunisia: the creation of nano-satellites for applications in these countries. We have two concrete projects to be completed in 2022: one in Africa and the other in the Gulf countries. “
Mohammad Frikha underlines: To show you the importance of product development in the application of services: At the service level Telnet’s turnover averages 15 million euros per year. But the development of a satellite for a country could cost 10 million euros. This will lead to significant changes in the group’s turnover and profits. “
And to add: In 2023, we will launch the first constellation of nano-satellites on the Arab and African scales, namely 24 nano-satellites. For this purpose, we need to raise funds. Following internal discussions at the board level, which has chosen to create a telnet space company in France, with offices in Paris and especially in the Aerospace Valley in Toulouse. This installation of Telnet Space in France makes it possible to participate in research and development projects with the European Space Agency. We are already in a big helio project. In addition to our location in France, which makes it easier for us to raise funds for an ambitious project of a constellation of satellites. “
The second axis is the drone, in which the company has already built a prototype in partnership with the Japanese. ” There, we have just been selected to participate in the National Drone Project. I think exciting development and demand perspectives are very important across the Middle East and Africa. “, DG specified.
The third axis is that of the electric car. Mr Frekha noted: ” Today, we take on the responsibility of launching everything related to electric cars in the country. Today, 70% of tomorrow’s cars are software, which is the specialty of Telenet, in addition to an electronic and mechanical part, which is less than the whole product. Telnet took the initiative to stay behind a group of electronics and automobile manufacturers to build Tunisia as a country that integrates electric cars. This is a project for the future, an important project for the country. We have formed a coordination group for this project and we will continue to offer this platform and of course have future license signatures with industrialists and car manufacturers. “
The fourth axis includes artificial intelligence and robotics. And to make sure: We have expertise in the mechanical department, because the advantage of Telnet is that it covers everything related to product engineering: embedded software, electronics and mechanics.
There are important areas of application that can affect robotics in our daily lives but also in space.
Achieving these goals requires partnership. Here too we have chosen different foreign partners in different fields. We have the neutral position of all countries and what is important to us is the interests of Telnet and the interests of the country. We know that every country has strengths in technological advancement: artificial intelligence / United States, space / Europe and Russia, automotive for electronic parts / France and Germany – Chinese in mechanical parts, drones / Japan “
DG assured: We are going through a major transition to engineering services, an activity that continues to develop significantly, increasing by 20 to 25%. In terms of product activity, the benchmarks and dimensions differ: the design of a nano-satellite represents ten million euros, with a turnover of 15 million euros for engineering and subcontracting activities. A
During the debate, analyst Selim Riyahi was surprised that the company, although operating internationally, did not mention Tunisia’s sovereign rating, the famous “CCC” or the deterioration of the difficult situation. In contrast, the company spoke of record numbers. For this, the DG explained that the company does not speak of crisis and thinks that the solution of the country lies in technology and engineering, because what sets Tunisia apart from other countries is its efficiency.
Ferid Ben Brahim, CEO of Arab Financial Consultants (AFC), is surprised about the percentage of Telnet Space’s holdings and targeted capital. In it, Mr. Freikha indicated that Telnet Space is a subsidiary that owns 70% of the company with a capital of 500,000 euros, which offers the potential to raise significant funds. Mr Khwaja emphasized on his part that the company’s goal was to maintain control of 70% of the shares even after raising funds.
The two men declined to comment further on how the company would proceed with the fundraising, noting that it first needed the approval of the Financial Markets Council and the Central Bank of Tunisia.
One analyst questioned management about the consequences of the Ukrainian-Russian war on the company. To which, the CEO mentioned that the company is an independent private company, which does not do politics and which is neutral. And notice that Russia has offered the best value for money with its Soyuz launcher, very attractive compared to the competition.
He also recalled a joint project with Russia to send a Tunisian astronaut into space in 2023. The choice falls on an Air Force fighter pilot.
” Russia’s cooperation is going very well The chairman of the board has confirmed.
It should be noted that the company wanted to run for the directorship seat representing the smaller shareholders, but the CMF validated the candidacy of only one of the four presented. Thus, Amin Bel Haj Salah was a successful candidate for the post.
A great first, the company asks its minority shareholders to select two independent directors out of the three submitted. And Nidhal Werfelli and Slim Jeghal were elected to these positions.
The future prospects of the company are significant. Thus, Sami Khoja declared: ” We see that the challenges of Telnet are great and the potential for business and products is huge. The four strategic axes will give a significant push to the telnet “
In fact, the company expects 20% revenue growth in 2022, he said.
The Telnet Group has big ambitions and is working to implement them. It works on the four high-tech strategic axes of the future. Despite the national and international situation, its management is very optimistic for the future.