Despite decline in mobile subscribers, and data users, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria), still announced a 24.1% to N790.3 billion in service revenue in its unaudited results for the half-year (H1) ended 30 June 2021.
The network provider said its mobile subscribers fell by 7.6 million to 68.9 million, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations, while active data users declined by approximately 52,000 to 32.5 million.
A statement from MTN also indicated that all other indices recorded improvement in the period under review. Accordingly, “Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 27.6% to N417.2 billion; EBITDA margin improved by 1.4 percentage points (pp) to 52.7%; capital expenditure was up by 39.1% to N186.4 billion (up 50.6% to N114.5 billion excluding right of use [RoU] assets); and dividend per share of N4.55 kobo, up 30%.
The Communications also revealed plans to celebrate its 20th anniversary with numerous national impact projects.
Commenting on the results, MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola, was quoted as saying: “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. We extended our commitment to the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) with an additional N3 billion contribution over a two-year period, half of which has already been paid. This is in support of efforts to promote the health and security of Nigerians, as we navigate our way through the pandemic; and in line with our Y’ello Hope initiatives through which we provided support to our broad base of stakeholders to the value of approximately N25 billion in 2020.
Our progress towards achieving greater business resilience is reflected in the upgrade by Global Credit Ratings (GCR) of our national scale long-term issuer rating to AAA and affirmation of our national scale short-term rating of A1+ with a stable outlook. This puts MTN Nigeria on the highest possible GCR scale for short-term and long-term ratings, providing a solid platform for growth.”
On the anniversary celebrations Toriola said the Board of Directors has approved its participation in the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit (RITC) Scheme. “This is in response to the Government’s drive towards public-private partnerships in the rehabilitation of critical road infrastructure in Nigeria. We intend to participate in the restoration and refurbishment of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway. Conversations in this regard have already commenced, and further announcements will be made in due course,” he explained.
Going forward, the MTN CEO said the company will continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities, even as the management has refined its strategy. “The new strategy called, Ambition 2025, is closely aligned with that of MTN Group and is built on four key strategic priorities: build the largest and most valuable platforms, drive industry-leading connectivity operations, create shared value and accelerate portfolio transformation.”
These priorities will define our focus for the next five years, he said, and will take advantage of MTN’s existing platforms and assets to accelerate long term growth as it monitors and manages the impacts of the pandemic.
The new strategy called, Ambition 2025, is closely aligned with that of MTN Group and is built on four key strategic priorities: build the largest and most valuable platforms, drive industry-leading connectivity operations, create shared value and accelerate portfolio transformation.
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. In addition, we will continue to sustain our expense efficiency programme to strengthen our financial position and support margins. In the remainder of the year, we anticipate that the base effects will partly influence our commercial and financial trends. Although the availability of foreign exchange remains a constraint, we strive to minimise its impact on the business.
We are driving a positive culture change across the organisation to enhance productivity and further improve performance. We maintain our strong focus on deeper, proactive and inclusive engagements to drive shared value for all stakeholders, while ensuring that our activities align with and contribute to the Government’s development agenda.
Finally, emerging trends indicate a steady recovery in economic activity. However, given the ongoing uncertainties presented by the new wave of the COVID-19 outbreak and the NIN registration exercise, we remain mindful of changes to the operating environment as the rest of the year unfolds.