The Belize Telemedia Limited held its 14 th annual general meeting on Saturday morning at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza. One of the primary presentations made was by the Chairman Mark Lizarraga. According to Lizarraga BTL operated at a loss, but there is a projection for profits in the near future. He noted in his presentation that the company has seen an increase in operational expenses in the last 3 years which has been greater than the increase in revenues for the same period. He added that this has been coupled with an increase in bad debt of over thirteen million dollars for the period 2018/2019, as well as an increase in staff costs, depreciation and an oversupply of international internet capacity.
Mark Lizarraga, Chairman, BTL Board of Directors: “Our new policy is that the Internal Audit Department will now report directly to an audit subcommittee of the board and not to the chairman of the board. Additionally scrutiny of the financials revealed that in addition to an outstanding liability of $19 million in unpaid dividends to the government of Belize there were unrealistic expense provisions for bad debts. This inadequacy contributed to an overly aggressive and unrealistic portrayal of profits over the periods 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Returns on equity over the past few years were dismal and continued falling and reports were heavily focused on growing earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization. And these reports did not focus on unsustainable growth in expense which resulted in declining trend in profits over the years.”