Amidst declining subscriptions, MTN Nigeria grows revenue by 24%

Despite losing 7.6 million subscriptions due to the government’s restrictions on new SIM sales and activations, MTN Nigeria recorded a 24.1 per cent increase in revenue for the half-year ended 30 June, 2021. According to the company’s unaudited results, revenue for the six months stood at N790.3 billion.

The decline in subscriptions saw MTN closing the half-year with 68.9 million active subscriptions. The company also lost 52,000 data subscriptions in the period under review, which brought its data subscriptions down to 32.5 million.

These, however, did not stop the company from growing its revenue. Commenting on the results, MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola said: “In the first half of 2021, we made good progress strengthening the resilience of the business, managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and enhancing support to our people, customers, and other stakeholders.

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“Operationally, our mobile subscribers closed H1 at 68.9 million, down 9.9 per cent from December 2020. This was due to the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations, which was lifted on 19 April 2021. Although the initial run-rate of additions has been slower than usual due to new process requirements, we anticipate growth to normalise in the short-term as more of our acquisition centres are certified for SIM registration,” he said.

He further disclosed that the company’s service revenue grew by 24.1 per cent YoY, driven by the sustained growth in data and also partly due to the lower base in comparative 2020 voice revenue that resulted from lockdowns during that period.

“Voice revenue grew by 13.1 per cent, benefitting from an 11.8 per cent increase in traffic and our customer value management (CVM) initiatives. The impact on voice revenue from the industry-wide suspension of new SIM registration was partly offset by higher usage in our active SIM base as well as migration to a higher quality of experience,” he said.

According to the MTN CEO, data revenue continued the positive momentum from H2 2020, rising by 48.3per cent. This, he said,  was driven by increased usage from the existing base, supported by the acceleration in the company’s 4G rollout and enhanced network capacity following the acquisition and activation of an additional 800MHz spectrum in Q1.

The company’s data traffic was said to have risen by 83.0 per cent YoY, while smartphone penetration was up by 5.8pp to 49.3 per cent. MTN said its 4G network now covers 65.1 per cent of the Nigerian population, up from 60.1 per cent in December 2020.

MTN’s Fintech revenue also rose by 48.2 per cent, driven by increased adoption of ‘Xtratime’ and its core fintech services. “We continue to expand our MoMo agent network and broaden our service offerings. Our registered MoMo agents increased by 121,000 in H1 2021 to more than 515,000. Transaction volume increased by 280.8 per cent YoY to 55.6 million in H1 2021, and our active subscriber base is now more than 6.1 million, up 180.0 per cent YoY,” Toriola said.

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