MTN Nigeria service revenue increasing by 13.4 per cent year on year (YoY), the telco’s subscriber base also increased by 2.1 million to 60.3 million. This is according to telco’s unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, that were released today.

The results also show that there was a 32.4 per cent increase in data revenue and a 12.7 per cent increase in voice revenue.  The company says a general slowdown in economic activities during the election period, impacted voice revenue growth and Fintech revenue increased by 22.9 per cent.

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Digital revenue decreased by 68.0 per cent while growth in data revenue was supported by a 10.6 percentage point increase in smartphone penetration, improved network quality and a 9.1 per cent increase in active data subscribers to 20.4 million. Total subscribers increased by 3.6 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) to 60.3 million.

Chief executive officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman said in 2019, MTN Nigeria adopted the IFRS 16 accounting standards in line with global best practice and adjustments are reflected in the results.

“Our first quarter performance was in line with expectations, as service revenue remained resilient with double-digit growth on the back of improvements in voice and data revenues.

“We connected a further 2.1 million people to our network, providing them access to worldwide communication services, while additional 1.7 million people are able to access the possibilities that the internet provides,” he said.

According to Moolman, this growth was built on MTN’s focus on customer centric delivery and in particular on improved customer retention, continuous focus on value for money propositions and further network roll-out and enhancement.

“Q1 2019 saw a significant increase in our capital expenditure programme, with focus on LTE services, where we rolled out 1,188 sites across our key focus cities. In addition, the successful transfer of our 800MHz spectrum from Visafone to MTN Nigeria will further enable improvements to network coverage and service quality.

“We have made significant progress to list on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) following the conversion of MTN Nigeria to a public company and the successful registration of our ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We are now engaging with the NSE to complete the listing process.”

MTN Nigeria recorded earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin of 53.3 per cent. On an IAS 17 basis, the margin increased to 44.2 per cent, up 2.4 percentage points YoY, driven by the growth in revenue and effective cost management.

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