By Prince Osuagwu
LAGOS — The MTN Group yesterday announced that despite increased competition, it has added about 7.4 million new subscribers, raking its subscriber base above 150 million across its 21 operations, at the moment. It described the development as a mark of great subscriber loyalty to its brands.
Speaking after the MTN Group Annual General Meeting in South Africa yesterday, Group President and CEO of the company, Sifiso Dabengwa, announced that MTN increased its subscriber base by 7.4 million or 5 per cent for the first quarter of the year ending 30 April 2011.
Dabengwa said margins in the majority of MTN’s key markets in Africa and the Middle East remained robust, although margin pressure in markets with high levels of price competition was experienced.
He said robust margins were primarily due to the benefit of on-going cost control and efficiency initiatives, despite the negative impact of inflationary pressures and higher fuel costs.
According to him, “MTN believes its current initiatives place it in good stead to take advantage of value creating opportunities, while mitigating the various risks. MTN will continue to leverage its scale, operational capability and intellectual capacity in an industry which has become more competitive as it matures and evolves.”
The MTN Group wishes to share its 150 million mobile subscriber milestone with communities by linking it to a worthy social cause. It has also pledged to plant 150 000 (one hundred and fifty thousand) trees across its markets during the next six months.
The company says it is cognisant of the serious implications of climate change in its markets and the world, and is therefore making a contribution to preserve the environment by mobilising its staff of approximately 30 000 to plant trees in their communities.
Dabengwa explained that MTN operates in a business ecosystem in which triple bottom line, people, planet and profit, issues are increasingly becoming vital for future survival.
“Our customers are important to us, and so are we to them in terms of offering them services that improve their lifestyle. Unless we take good care of the surroundings in which people live and in which we as business operate, there will be no markets and growth prospects to talk of in future”.
“The idea of planting trees has the potential to trigger the kind of public consciousness that can turn each of the 150 million MTN subscribers into active agents for positive social change,” he added .