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MTN plans for new Group CEO as Shuter steps down in 2021

MTN group says it is currently working on a succession plan for the company, as the group president and CEO, Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021.

According to MTN, the succession process will be concluded during the year, enabling a seamless handover.

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Charles Molapisi, the chief technology and IT officer, MTN group has been appointed to the group executive committee and the fixed contract of the group chief operations officer, Jens Schulte-Bockum, has been extended until 31 March 2022.

The company which recently released impressive results for the year ended 31 December 2019, said the encouraging outcome was delivered against challenging macroeconomic conditions, particularly in South Africa, with muted economic activity and the rand weakening against the US dollar.

“In 2019, the 25th anniversary of MTN Group, we delivered commercial momentum across our operations as well as great progress in our strategy and strong financial results, despite challenging trading conditions.

We added 18 million customers to reach a total of 251 million and increased our data users by 17 million to 95 million and our Fintech customers by 7 million to 35 million. This growth is central to our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life. We also saw improvements in customer experience, network quality and market share across the group,” Shutter said.

In constant currency terms, group service revenue increased by 9.8 percent to R141.8 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expanded by 13.6 percent to R53.4 billion. The holding company leverage ratio improved to 2.2x, which is well within the group’s guidance range of 2.0 to 2.5x, and MTN reduced its capex intensity to 17.5 percent from 19.3 percent, indicating greater efficiency in deploying assets.

Driven by the strong earnings performance, operating cashflow increased by 18 percent and the return on investment increased from 11.5 percent in 2018 to 14.3 percent in 2019 on an IAS17 basis.

The group’s results were supported by a double-digit growth in service revenue by both MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana. The performance of MTN South Africa was impacted by economic pressure, new data usage rules and changes in recognition criteria for roaming revenue from Cell C due to delayed payments under the networking roaming agreement.

“On the strategic front, we launched our instant messaging platform Ayoba, which is now live in 12 markets with two million monthly active users. We launched MoMo in South Africa and Afghanistan and received our super-agent licence in Nigeria, registering more than 100 000 agents by year-end. We also delivered R14 billion of asset realisations within the first 12 months of our programme and MTN Nigeria listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange. We recorded progress on various regulatory issues, including the AGF tax matter in Nigeria,” Shuter said.

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