Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria has achieved a 22% increase in service revenue to N469.8-billion during the first quarter of 2022, led by growth in data and supported by voice, fintech and digital services.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew by 25.7% to N257.1-billion, with a 1.5 percentage point Ebitda margin expansion to 54.6% during the three months ended March 31.
Profit after tax for the quarter under review increased 31.3% to N96.8-billion, while earnings a share rose by 31.3% to N4.76 kobo.
“We have continued to make good progress in the first quarter, building on the momentum we achieved in the fourth quarter of 2021 and delivering several key milestones as we grow our connectivity business and platforms. This was achieved against a backdrop of significant geopolitical volatility exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. This conflict has significantly impacted energy prices, broader inflation, supply chains and consumer spending,” said MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola.
MTN Nigeria has registered a 1.3-million decline in mobile subscribers to 35.9-million during the quarter ended March 31, impacted by regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.
“Although our mobile subscriber base declined by 1.9% year-on-year from 71.5-million in March 2021 to 70.2-million, we sustained the growth trajectory from the fourth quarter of 2021 as we ramp up capacity for SIM registration and National Identity Numbers (NIN) enrolment,” he commented.
As at April 25, about 60-million subscribers have submitted their NINs, representing about 85% of the MTN Nigeria subscriber base.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the group added 1.7-million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.
Active data users increased 10.5%, or 3.4-million, to 35.9-million, on a year-on-year basis, with the addition of 1.6-million active users in the first quarter.
“To enable the growth in subscribers and traffic, we continued to enhance the capacity of our network. In doing so, we frontloaded our capital expenditure (capex) plan for the year, deploying capex of N162.5-billion in the period to accommodate the sustained demand for data and accelerate the rollout of our fourth-generation network, which now covers about 72% of the population and accounts for 76% of data traffic.”
Active fintech subscribers increased by 6.2-million to 10.7-million, with 1.3-million subscribers added in the first quarter of 2022 when compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Our existing mobile money (MoMo) business provides a solid foundation for launching MoMo Payment Service Bank and driving digital and financial inclusion in Nigeria. As at the end of March 2022, we had about 10.7-million active users and 166 000 active MoMo agents,” Toriola concluded.
MTN Nigeria declared a final dividend of N174.5-billion, representing N8.57 kobo a share for the 2021 financial year.