MTN subscribers up by 6.9%, revenue by 17.5%


MTN Group delivered a satisfactory set of results to June 2012, increasing its subscriber numbers by 6.9% to 175,997 million from 31 December 2011. Market conditions continued to be impacted by increasing levels of competition, regulatory requirements, political unrest in certain countries and the global economic slowdown.

Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN's Group President and CEO (image: Charlie Fripp)

Despite these challenges, revenue showed solid growth of 17.5% (12.5%) year on year, driven mainly by strong operational performance and competitive value propositions in South Africa, Iran and Ghana.

The weaker Rand exchange rate versus the USD and the relatively muted decline in the value of the Naira to the USD, had a positive impact on rand reported results. Growth in Nigeria was lower than anticipated as a result of intense competition.

The Group EBITDA margin expanded marginally to 44.9% mainly due to greater efficiencies and tighter cost controls across most operations.

Group revenue increased by a healthy 17.5% to R66, 426 million due to solid growth in South Africa, Iran and Ghana of 9.5%, 29.9% and 19.9% respectively.

Nigeria’s reported revenue grew 16.5%. The average Rand: USD exchange rate weakened from R6,80 in the prior period to R7,89 and this, together with a relatively muted Naira : USD exchange rate, had a positive impact on revenue. On a constant currency basis, Group revenue grew 12.5%.

Local currency revenue in Iran and Ghana increased 28.3% and 22.4% respectively while Nigeria’s local currency revenue grew 4.4%. The contribution of airtime and subscription revenue reduced to 63.2% from 66.0% in the prior comparative period while data revenue increased its contribution to 10.0% from 7.0%.

This was mainly attributable to strong data growth in South Africa and Nigeria, which contributed 46.8% and 28.4% respectively to total Group data revenue. SMS revenue continued to show positive growth and increased its contribution marginally. This was mainly due to the continued success of SMS in Iran and South Africa.

Staff writer