.Data revenue grew by 32.4%
Largest telecommunications operator by subscriber number in Nigeria, MTN, generated N282 billion from voice and data services in the first three months of the year. According to the first quarter unaudited result, this represented 13.4 per cent growth year-on-year.
The growth in earnings for the company was driven largely by a 32.4 per cent increase in data revenue and a 12.7 per cent increase in voice revenue. According to MTN, growth in data revenue was supported by an increase in smartphone penetration, improved network quality and a 9.1 per cent increase quarter-on-quarter in active data subscribers to 20.4 million. The company, however, noted that a general slowdown in economic activities during the election period, impacted its voice revenue growth.
“Total subscribers increased by 3.6 per cent QoQ to 60.3 million. MTN Nigeria reported an EBITDA margin of 53.3 per cent. On an IAS 17 basis the margin increased to 44.2 per cent, up 2.4 percentage points YoY, driven by the growth in revenue and effective cost management,” the company said.
Commenting on the results, CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman 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 additional 1.7 million people are able to access the possibilities that the internet provides”.
According to Moolman, the growth was built on the company’s focus on customer centric delivery and in particular on improved customer retention, its continuous focus on value for money propositions and further network roll-out and enhancement. “Q1 2019 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 our 800MHz spectrum from Visafone to MTN Nigeria will further enable improvements to network coverage and service quality,” he added.
The MTN CEO noted that the company has made significant progress to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) following the conversion its conversion to a public company and the successful registration of its ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “We are now engaging with the NSE to complete the listing process,” he said.