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MTN 2019 first quarter results show steady increase in revenues

MTN proposes $1.6bn investment to strengthen operation in Nigeria

MTN Nigeria has released its unaudited results for the first quarter of 2019, ended March 31. The company in Q1, increased data revenue by 32.4 percent, Fintech revenue by 22.9 percent, voice revenue by 12.7 percent and service revenue by 13.4 percent.

MTN Nigeria delivered improved result, as the telco’s service revenue increased by 13.4 percent on the back of improved voice and data services and its earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also grew by 11.5pp to 53.3 percent, up 2.4 percentage points year on year; as a result of revenue growth and effective cost management.

MTN Nigeria recorded significant revenue increase in service – voice and data as the telco added 2.1 million subscribers to its network in Q1 2019, to get a total of 60.3 million subscribers in Nigeria.

Growth in data revenue was supported by a 10.6 percentage point increase in smartphone penetration, improved network quality and a 9.1 percent increase in active data subscribers to 20.4 million. Total subscribers increased by 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 60.3 million.

Although it’s digital revenue decreased by 68 percent, analysts say that the telco is likely to see a pick up in digital revenues driven by mobile financial services, once the company is granted its payment service banking (PSB) license by Central Bank of Nigeria.

In 2019, MTN Nigeria adopted the IFRS 16 accounting standards in line with global best practice and adjustments are reflected in the above results.

Commenting on the results, Ferdi Moolman CEO, MTN Nigeria said “Our first quarter performance was in line with expectations, as service revenue remained resilient with double digit growth on the back of improvements in voice and data revenues. We connected a further 2.1 million people to our network, providing them access to worldwide communication services, while additional 1.7 million people are able to access the possibilities that the internet provides.

This growth is built on our focus on customer centric delivery and in particular on improved customer retention, our continuous focus on value for money propositions and further network roll-out and enhancement. Q1 2019 saw a significant increase in our capital expenditure programme, with focus on LTE services, where we rolled out 1,188 sites across our key focus cities. In addition, the successful transfer of our 800MHz spectrum from Visafone to MTN Nigeria will further enable improvements to network coverage and service quality.

We have made significant progress to list on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) following the conversion of MTN Nigeria to a public company and the successful registration of our ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We are now engaging with the NSE to complete the listing process.”

“The business is on a sustainable growth path with service revenue increasing by 13.4 percent year-on-year (YoY), in line with our medium-term guidance of double-digit growth. This was led by a 32.4 percent increase in data revenue and a 12.7 percent increase in voice revenue, a general slowdown in economic activities during the election period, impacted voice revenue growth,” the company said in a statement.


Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson