MTN Group on Thursday announced that strong revenue growth in its Nigeria and Ghana operations lifted its baseline revenue and made up for lower revenues in its South Africa market.
The firm said it delivered a solid performance in the first quarter (Q1) this year, boosting service revenue by 11.1 per cent and increasing service revenue by 16.5 per cent to ZAR 38.7 billion.
Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 15.6 per cent, with the EBITDA margin improving by 2.1 percentage points to 43.2 percent, in line with medium-term targets. The Group recorded voice, data and financial technology (fintech) revenue growth of 6.3 per cent, 26.4 per cent and 26.0 per cent respectively. Mobile subscribers rose by 6.6 per cent to 257.3 million across its 21 operations. Active data subscribers increased by 2.9 million to 98.3 million, while active mobile money customers increased by 0.4 million to 35.1 million.
MTN said the COVID-19 situation is still evolving and will undoubtedly impact the remaining part of 2020 financial year.
Given the uncertainties associated with the duration and economic impact of the pandemic, it is difficult to reliably quantify the financial effects on the business at this early stage.
However, the company has lowered its capital expenditure budget for the year following expected disruptions to the supply chain and challenges arising from lockdown rules, combined with a focus on preserving liquidity. As a result, MTN expects to invest ZAR 21-22 billion this year, compared to the ZAR 28 billion forecast at the full-year results. It will also continue with its cost control efforts as part of its medium-term strategy.
Nigerian subsidiary, MTN Nigeria, had announced its financial report for the first quarter of 2020 with good numbers where it reported additional 4.2 million new subscribers in the first quarter.
That result raised its total subscriber base to 68.5 million, the largest in the country while its revenue also witnessed impressive growth as it raked in N329.2 billion ($845.4 million) during this period, a 16.7per cent growth from the same period a year ago. Profits after tax increased by 5.3per cent to N51.02 billion ($131.1 million).
The telco said it is witnessing a dip in voice traffic, especially in its mass market.
“Voice revenue has experienced an immediate impact from the current macro disruptions,” The company said.