MTN Nigeria Reports Increased Earnings Despite Losing 7.6M Subscribers

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MTN Nigeria has released its unaudited results for the half-year ended June as the telco celebrates its 20th anniversary. The results show that its mobile subscriptions had declined by 7.6-million to 68.9-million.

Subscriptions had been significantly impacted by regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.

Active data users also saw a decline by 52,000 to 32.5-million. However, Independent Media reports that MTN Nigeria saw voice revenue grow by 13.1%, benefiting from an 11.8% increase in traffic and its new customer value management initiatives.

The impact of the industry-wide suspension of new SIM registrations was partially mitigated by higher usage in the company’s active SIM base, as well as the firm’s migration to “higher quality experience,” MTN Nigeria says.

Revenues Are Up

In totality, the firm reported a 27.6% increase in half-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), despite its sharp decline in subscriptions.

MTN Nigeria said during the reporting period that its service revenue was up by 24.1% to N790.3-billion ($1.9-billion). Data revenue also helped keep the telco’s positive momentum going from the second half of 2020, rising by a robust 48.3%, driven mostly by increased usage from the existing base.

The firm’s digital revenue was also up, rising by 61.8%, while its active user base rose by 38% to more than 3.9-million. MTN Nigeria’s user base increases were led by Ayoba, the company’s instant messaging platform which has more than 2.3-million active users.

“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,” says Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria’s CEO.

MTN Nigeria’s Future Plan

In terms of future plans, MTN Nigeria said it hopes to connect 1000 rural communities to its network in 2021, with an additional 2000 communities to be connected in 2022. The firm is planning to invest more than N600-billion ($1.4-billion) to expand broadband access across the country in the next three years, in support of the Nigerian government’s broadband plan.

“We have a clear focus on sustaining double-digit service revenue growth ahead of inflation, driving 4G and rural network expansion, as well as positioning our fintech and digital businesses for accelerated growth in order to unlock their full value,” MTN Nigeria says.

By Luis Monzon
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