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MTN posts N790b revenue, loses 7.6m subscribers in six months

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For the first half of the year, ended June 30, 2021, telecommunications service provider, MTN service revenue hit N790.3 billion, an increase of 24.1 per cent.

Its profit before tax (PBT) of N215.1 billion and profit after tax (PAT) of N141.8 billion in its half-year (H1) operations. The financial report showed pre-tax profit growth of N215 billion, representing a 54.1 per cent increase, while profit for the period soared by 49.5 per cent to N141.827 billion.

MTN, which disclosed this in its unaudited results for the half-year 2021, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 27.6 per cent to N417.2 billion, while EBITDA margin improved by 1.4 percentage points to 52.7 per cent.

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The firm, at the weekend, said its capital expenditure was up by 39.1 per cent to N186.4 billion (up 50.6 per cent to N114.5 billion excluding right of use [RoU] assets). It posted a dividend per share of N4.55 kobo, which grew by 30 per cent.

It reported that mobile subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.

MTN said it is actively supporting the government’s National Identity Numbers (NIN) enrolment programme with more than 380 points of enrolment active across the country. It is equally working with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to complete bulk verification of the NINs collected and increase the enrolment centres to provide an access point for as many Nigerian as possible.

To this end, the telecommunications firm said it acquired over 40,000 enrolment devices, which are being configured for this purpose.

MTN disclosed that as of July 26, approximately 37 million subscribers have submitted their NINs, representing around 54 per cent of the subscriber base and 65 per cent of service revenue.

Commenting on the results, MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, said in the first half of 2021, the firm made good progress strengthening the resilience of the business, managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and enhancing support to 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.

“2021 marks the 20th anniversary of MTN’s presence in Nigeria. As we celebrate this milestone, we are pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has approved our 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 stated.

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Toriola said MTN desires to plant deeper and more permanent roots in Nigeria, “we have also initiated plans to commission a purpose-built, state of the art MTN Head Office, designed to act as a central hub for our network, a catalyst for creativity and innovation, and a showcase for the flexible working structures that are driving efficiency gains in this new normal working environment.”

The MTN Nigeria CEO as part of the firm’s rural connectivity programme, plans to connect approximately 1,000 rural communities to the network this year with an additional 2,000 communities in 2022.

Toriola said these are translating into strong operational performance in line with the objectives of Ambition 2025, “in the next three years, we will invest over N600 billion to expand broadband access across the country in support of the government’s broadband plan.”

Going forward, the MTN boss said to enable it to continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities, “we have refined our 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. Taking advantage of MTN’s existing platforms and assets, we are well-positioned to accelerate long-term growth as we continue to monitor and manage the impacts of the pandemic.”

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