MTN Revenue Hits N1.2trn In 2019, Plans N600bn Network Expansion

1
Ferdi Moolman
Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman

Emma Okonji

MTN Nigeria saturday, released its audited results for the financial year ended in December 31, 2019, recording as high as N1.2 trillion service revenue, representing an increase of 12.6 per cent.

As shown in its financial results, MTN’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), grew by 45.2 per cent to reach N629.9 billion.

The company said the EBITDA margin increased to 53.9 per cent from 44.8 per cent, while its profit before tax grew by 31.1 per cent to reach N290.1 billion.

Pleased with its financial achievement in 2019, MTN said it would be investing a whooping N600 billion on network expansion in the next three years.
The investment, according to the telecoms company, would enable it to accelerate its 4G network expansion, deepen population coverage and support the Federal Government’s broadband initiative.

MTN Nigeria, however, said its capital expenditure, excluding ROU assets, increased by 13.1 per cent to reach N208.3 billion in the financial year ended 2019.

Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdi Moolman, said: “I am pleased with our performance in 2019, which demonstrates the progress we have made in the implementation of our strategy.

“Despite a challenging operating environment, we continued to deliver double-digit growth in service revenue in line with our medium-term guidance.
“Voice revenue growth remained healthy, and data revenue continued to accelerate, supporting a 12.6 per cent increase in service revenue with an acceleration in growth to 14.0 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in Q4 2019.

“Following the completion of the SIM re-registration exercise in Q3 2019, we recorded 2.7 million net additions in Q4. In total, we added 6.1 million new subscribers to our network in2019.

“Although the last quarter is usually seasonally strong, service revenue growth of 14 per cent in Q4 outpaced the seasonal effect,” Moolman said.
In the third quarter, the chief executive officer explained that the company focused on several initiatives “to enhance coverage and drive data usage penetration.

“These initiatives include optimising frequencies, expanding our 4G network coverage with over 6,000 additional sites leveraging 800MHz spectrum and repositioning our commercial data offerings.”

“It is pleasing to note that the promising results we reported at the end of Q3 2019 accelerated in the fourth quarter. Corresponding with the increase in our active data subscriber net additions by 2.9 million in Q4 2019, our 4G population coverage rose by 8.4pp to 43.8 per cent, giving people in 68 additional cities access to 4G.

“We closed the year with 132 cities covered by 4G and became the first mobile network operator in West Africa to demonstrate the capability of 5G technology. We are excited about its potential for our customers and Nigeria’s overall national development plans, Moolman said in a statement.”
Addressing the resolved MTN dispute with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) over tax issues, Moolman said: “We are delighted with the progress made in resolving our dispute with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on the adequacy of taxes and duties paid.

“We have discontinued the legal action against the AGF following the transfer of the matter to the relevant authorities and look forward to a final resolution. We have always fulfilled our tax obligations and remain committed to maintaining good relationships with all regulatory authorities.

Giving an overview of its operation in 2019, Moolman said MTN Nigeria focused on building our subscriber base, resulting in a growth of 10.5mper cent in net additions to a total of 64.3 million subscribers.

“Our active data subscribers rose by 34.9 per cent to 25.2 million on the back of several initiatives. As a result, the ratio of active data users to total mobile subscribers increased to 39.2 per cent in 2019 with strong potential for future growth, while voice revenue growth remained healthy at 8.4 per cent and accounted for 72.7 per cent of service revenue. Voice traffic increased by 7.6 per cent, supporting revenue growth.