By Chinenye Anuforo
MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has announced its unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021 with mobile subscribers declined by 5 million to 71.5 million due to the effects of customer churn and the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.
Active data users also declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million just as service revenue increased by 17.2 per cent to N385.2 billion.
Capital expenditure was up by 19.3 per cent to N89.9 billion (up 27.8 per cent to N31.6 billion excluding right of use [RoU] assets).
The Profit before tax grew by 33.9 per cent to N102.9 billion.
Commenting on the result,
MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola said:
“We made good progress in the first quarter of 2021 despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to prioritise the safeguards put in place to protect the health and well-being of our people, customers and stakeholders and to control the spread of the virus while ensuring network resilience and efficiency.
As part of our Y’ello Hope initiatives, we continue to support Government’s efforts in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. We supported the most vulnerable in our communities, providing them with free-to-access services (including SMS and data) as well as essential medical supplies (tests and personal protective equipment). We continue to support the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that has driven multiple initiatives, such as building isolation centres across the country. MTN Nigeria also paid taxes early in support of Government’s ongoing efforts. In addition, our REVV support programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) helps them navigate the new digital reality.
On the outlook Toriola noted that the company’s 2021 priorities remain unchanged, with a clear focus on sustaining double-digit revenue growth, driving 4G network expansion and positioning our fintech business for accelerated growth in order to unlock its full value. The acquisition of additional 800MHz spectrum positions us to deliver improved service speeds to Nigerians in support of the Government’s broadband initiative.
“We will continue to sustain our expense efficiency programme to strengthen our financial position and support margins. We remain in dialogue with the DMBs on a pricing option for airtime sales commission while diversifying our airtime recharge channels to offer our subscribers more options to purchase airtime and stay connected.
We will pursue stronger and deeper stakeholder relationship and enhanced shared value across our stakeholder ecosystem while ensuring that our activities align with the Government’s development agenda. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles remain at the core of everything we do, with a focus on aligning our priorities to drive eco-responsibility, sustainable society, sound governance and economic value for all in Nigeria.
Following the commencement of SIM sales and activations, the initial run-rate of additions may be slower than usual due to new process requirements, system limitations and reduction of qualified locations for SIM registration. While this may impact the rate of additions in the short term, we are optimistic that the current processes underway will entrench a more robust and sustainable registration process as we reaccelerate subscriber growth over the medium term.”