May 3, 2018 11:00 am
MTN Group, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator recorded 9.1 percent increase in its revenue for the first quarter of 2018 ended March 31.
The rise in revenue of the South African telecom firm was due to growth in Nigeria and Ghana, where voice revenue expanded.
The MTN group cited MTN Nigeria’s stronger-than-expected growth in revenue as one of the major contributor that allowed the business to benefit from increased scale.
This is as expenses were well controlled, and the naira stabilised.
“Group voice revenue growth of 5.4 percent benefited from strong growth in Nigeria and Ghana of 15.2percent and 20.6 percent respectively. Group data revenue grew by 26.9 percent quarter –on-quarter, as we executed on our dual-data strategy, ensuring appropriate data coverage across our footprint,” Rob Shuter, MTN Group CEO, said.
“During the quarter, the group continued to focus on operational execution across our markets, leveraging off the strong network investment of the past few years. This allowed us to deliver an acceleration in service revenue growth to 9.1 percent (constant currency), led by MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana,” Shuter added.
MTN Nigeria recorded increase in service revenue Year-on-Year by 14.4 percent, led by a 73.2 percent increase in data revenue and 15.2 percent growth in voice revenue.
The company’s Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) margin, as a percentage of its total revenue increased by 340 basis points to 41.8 percent Year-on-Year.
MTN Nigeria reported net additions in the quarter of 2.3 million subscribers following on from the 2.0 million adds in the fourth quarter of 2017, as the business benefited from the increase in the company’s SIM registration footprint.
“Focused on retaining network leadership, we rolled out 298 3G and 174 4G sites in the quarter. The 4G rollout remains centred on the top 10 cities across the country,” the company said in a statement.
The telecom company’s increase in voice revenue in Nigeria was supported by the lower customer spending on Value Added Service (VAS).
Following the marked improvement in its network in 2017, the MTN Group invested R1.7 billion ($134.7 million) in Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) in the first quarter of 2018, therefore maintaining its leading network position in both South Africa and Nigeria.
The group-wide network investment enhanced data quality in metro areas.
A further breakdown of the report revealed that MTN Group voice revenue grew by 5.4 percent. The group’s data revenue was up by 26.9 percent, as it executed on dual-data strategy, ensuring appropriate data coverage across their footprint.
The MTN group said they have made good progress on the IPO processes in Nigeria, and they aim to conclude it during 2018.
Meanwhile, the group said it received all required regulatory approvals to proceed with the IPO in Ghana, which they expect to launch in late May 2018.