MTN Nigeria grows subscriber base by 2.1m in Q1

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) yesterday said it grew its subscribers figure by 2.1 million to 60.3 million in the first quarter (Q1) this year.

The largest carrier in the country said it adopted the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16 accounting standards in line with global best practice in preparing the unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, said the performance of the telco was in line with expectations as its service revenue remained resilient with double-digit growth on the back of improvements in voice and data revenues.

Highlights contained in the statement showed that service revenue increased by 13.4 per cent; voice revenue increased by 12.7 per cent; data revenue increased by 32.4 per cent; digital revenue decreased by 68.0 per cent; while ` Fintech revenue increased by 22.9 per cent.

Others are earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin which increased by 11.5per cent to 53.3 per cent (IAS 17: 44.2 per cent).

Moolman 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 an 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 a 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 in network coverage and service quality.

“We have made significant progress to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange following the conversion of MTN Nigeria to a public company and the successful registration of our ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

He said the telco is now engaging with the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) to complete the listing process.

Moolman said the business was on a sustainable growth path with service revenue increasing by 13.4 per cent Year over Year (YoY) in line with the company’s medium-term guidance of double-digit growth.

He said that this was led by a 32.4 per cent increase in data revenue and a 12.7 per cent increase in voice revenue, saying that a general slowdown in economic activities during the election period, impacted voice revenue growth.

Moolman said the growth in data revenue was supported by a 10.6 percentage point increase in smart phone penetration, improved network quality and a 9.1 per cent increase in active data subscribers to 20.4 million, adding that the total subscribers increased by 3.6 per cent Quarter on Quarter to 60.3 million.

He said that MTN recorded an EBITDA margin of 53.3 per cent.

On an IAS 17 basis, the margin increased to 44.2 per cent, up 2.4 percentage points YoY, driven by the growth in revenue and effective cost management.

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