MTN Nigeria has released its unaudited results for the first quarter of 2021, announcing a service revenue growth by 17.2 percent to N382.2 billion and profit before tax growth of N102.9 billion, representing an increase of 33.9 percent.
The telco, however, reported a five million decline in its mobile subscription to 71.5 million subscribers, blaming it on the effects of customer churn and regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.
It also reported a decline in Active data usage of 71,000 to 32.5 million. MTN also reported an increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) to N204.5 billion, representing 19.1 percent raise.
Another area the telco reported increase was in Capital expenditure, CAPEX of about 19.3 percent to N89.9 billion. That is even as it reported that earnings per share rose by 42.5 percent to N3.60 kobo.
Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the company, Mr Karl Toriola, said: “We made good progress in the first quarter of 2021 despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to prioritise the safeguards put in place to protect the health and well-being of our people, customers and stakeholders and to control the spread of the virus while ensuring network resilience and efficiency.
“As part of our Y’ello Hope initiatives, we continue to support Government’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We supported the most vulnerable in our communities, providing them with free-to-access services as well as essential medical supplies.
“We continue to support the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that has driven multiple initiatives, such as building isolation centres across the country”.
He also stoutly claimed that MTN Nigeria paid taxes early in support of the government’s ongoing efforts.
Commenting on the report, he said: “Operationally, service revenue in Q1 grew by 17.2 percent YoY, in line with our medium-term target, supported by growth of 42.6 percent and 8.0 percent in data and voice revenue respectively.
“This was achieved despite the impact of the pandemic and a decline in our subscriber base due to the effects of customer churn and the restrictions on new SIM sales and activations arising from changes in SIM registration regulations.
“We continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to update subscriber records with the National Identity Number (NIN).
“Thus far, more than 35 million subscribers have submitted their NINs as of April 30, representing approximately 50 percent of our subscriber base and 63 percent of service revenue.
“We are also actively supporting the Government’s NIN enrolment programme, with 182 points of enrolment active across the country. We are working with NIMC to increase the enrolment centres to provide an access point for as many Nigerian as possible”.
He regretted that impacted by the reduction in the overall subscriber base in Q1, active data subscribers declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million.
He added that: ”However, we recorded an 86.7 percent increase in data traffic and a 48.5 percent increase in usage (MB per user) from the existing base.
“The improvement in data services was supported by the completion of our acquisition and activation of an additional 800MHz spectrum, enabling us to further increase traffic by 10 percent and enhance throughput by 79 percent.
“Digital revenue grew by 101.0 percent and fintech revenue by 28.5 percent as customers continued to adopt more digital products and services, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.
“As at the end of March 2021, we had 449,100 registered MoMo agents and 4.6 million fintech customers.
“Our ability to drive service revenue growth while managing the growth in expenses resulted in an acceleration in EBITDA growth to 19.1 percent and EBITDA margin expansion of 0.9pp to 53.1 percent YoY.
“This enabled profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) growth of 33.9 percent and 42.5 percent respectively,” he claimed.
Vanguard News Nigeria