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MTN collects 35m NINs as service revenue rises by N385.2b in Q1


MTN Nigeria. Photo: QZ

• Loses 5m Subscribers, Opens 182 Enrolment Centres
Telecommunications firm, MTN, said as at April 30, over 35 million of its subscribers had submitted their National Identity Number (NIN), which had subsequently been passed to the National Identity Management Commission for verification.

MTN said the 35 million represents approximately 50 per cent of its subscriber base and 63 per cent of service revenue.

The firm said it was also supporting the Federal Government’s NIN enrolment programme, with 182 points of enrolment active across the country..

The telecommunications firm said it however, lost about five million subscribers, due to the effects of customer churn and regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.

MTN, which disclosed all these in its unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, released, yesterday, said its Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew by 33.9 per cent to N102.9b, while Earnings per share rose by 42.5 per cent to N3.60 kobo.


It announced that active data users declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million, while service revenue increased by 17.2 per cent to N385.2b. The firm’s Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 19.1 per cent to N204.5b.

Within the period under review, MTN’s EBITDA margin increased by 0.9 percentage points (pp) to 53.1 per cent, while capital expenditure was up by 19.3 per cent to N89.9b (up 27.8 per cent to N31.6b, excluding right of use (RoU) assets.

The firm said unless otherwise stated, financial information is year-on-year (YoY, Q1 2021 versus Q1 2020). Non-financial information is quarter-on-quarter  (QoQ, March 2021 versus December 2020).

MTN Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer, 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 combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. We supported the most vulnerable in our communities, providing them with free-to-access services (including SMS and data) as well as essential medical supplies (tests and personal protective equipment). We continue to support the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that has driven multiple initiatives, such as building isolation centres across the country. MTN Nigeria also paid taxes early in support of government’s ongoing efforts. In addition, our REVV support programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) helps them navigate the new digital reality.’

Toriola explained that operationally, MTN service revenue in Q1 grew by 17.2 per cent YoY, in line with our medium-term target, supported by growth of 42.6 per cent and 8.0 per cent in data and voice revenue respectively.


According to him, this was achieved despite the impact of the pandemic and a decline in 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.

He said the firm continued to collaborate with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and NIMC to update subscriber records with NIN.

The firm said impacted by the reduction in the overall subscriber base in Q1, active data subscribers declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million, “however, we recorded an 86.7 per cent increase in data traffic and a 48.5 per cent 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 per cent and enhance throughput by 79 per cent.

“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. 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 per cent and EBITDA margin expansion of 0.9pp to 53.1 per cent YoY. This enabled profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) growth of 33.9 per cent and 42.5 per cent respectively.”


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