By Prince Osuagwu
MTN Nigeria, yesterday, announced the addition of 2.1 million new subscribers to its network at the end of the first quarter of 2019.
The telecom company now has about 60.3 million subscribers, making it the mobile network operator with the highest number of subscribers in Nigeria.
In an unaudited result released by the telco yesterday, for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, it also announced an increment in service revenue by 13.4 per cent even as it grew voice revenue by 12.7 per cent.
The company also claimed it grew other aspects of earnings, including data revenue, by 32.4 per cent and Fintech revenue by 22.9 per cent.
Its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation, EBITDA, margin also increased by 11.5 percentage point to 53.3 per cent in an International Accounting Standard, IAS, 17: 44.2 per cent basis.
It, however, declared a loss in digital revenue which decreased by 68 per cent.
MTN said releasing the unaudited result was in line with global best practice and aligns with the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS, 16 accounting standards.
CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said growth in data revenue was supported by a 10.6 percentage point increase in smartphone penetration and improved network quality, while the general slow down in economic activities during the election period, impacted voice revenue growth
He 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”.
He added that “first quarter of 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 the 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.”
Moolman said MTN Nigeria business is on a sustainable growth path with service revenue increasing by 13.4% year on year, in line with the company’s medium-term guidance of double-digit growth. This was led by a 32.4% increase in data revenue and a 12.7% increase in voice revenue.