MTN Communications Plc lost about five million subscribers in the first three months of 2021, according to the telecom’s unaudited results for the quarter ended 31 March 2021.
The telecoms company’s active data users also declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million.
However, its service revenue increased by 17.2 per cent to N385.2 billion, while Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 19.1 per cent to N204.5 billion.
EBITDA margin increased by 0.9 percentage points to 53.1 per cent. Capital expenditure was up by 19.3 per cent to N89.9 billion, up 27.8 per cent to N31.6 billion excluding right of use (RoU) assets.
The result showed that profit before tax grew by 33.9 percent to N102.9 billion, while earnings per share rose by 42.5 per cent to N3.60 kobo.
According to the report, “Operationally, service revenue in Q1 grew by 17.2 per cent year on year (YoY), in line with our medium-term target, supported by growth of 42.6per cent and 8.0 per cent in data and voice revenue respectively.
Commenting on the report, MTN Nigeria CEO, 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.
Toriola said MTN Nigeria would continue to actively support the federal government’s NIN enrolment programme, with 182 points of enrolment active across the country, noting, “We are working with NIMC to increase the enrolment centres to provide an access point for as many Nigerian as possible.”
The report further stated that digital revenue grew by 101.0 per cent and fintech revenue by 28.5 per cent as customers continued to adopt more digital products and services, a trend accelerated by the pandemic.
The report further explained that enterprise business continued its recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown as economic activity improved.
It said expenses rose by 14.8 per cent, mainly driven by a 19.2 per cent increase in operating expenses arising from an accelerated site rollout and the effects of Naira depreciation on lease rental costs.
He said MTN would continue to sustain its expense efficiency programme to strengthen its financial position and support margins.
“We will pursue stronger and deeper stakeholder relationships and enhanced shared value across our stakeholder ecosystem while ensuring that our activities align with the Government’s development agenda. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles remain at the core of everything we do, with a focus on aligning our priorities to drive eco-responsibility, sustainable society, sound governance and economic value for all in Nigeria,” Toriola added.
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