Lagos-listed MTN Nigeria Communications shed five million mobile subscribers in the first three months of the year as it struggled with customer churn and restrictions on Sim card sales and activations.
JSE-listed MTN Group, which owns Nigeria’s largest telecommunications operator, on Monday said there was also a slight slippage in data customers at the unit, with active subscribers down by 71 000 to 32.5 million.
Despite this, service revenue climbed by 17.2% to ₦385.2-billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) climbed by 19.1% to ₦204.5-billion. Ebitda margin climbed by 0.9 percentage points to 53.1%. Earnings per share rose by 42.5% while profit before tax was up 33.9%.
“We made good progress in the first quarter of 2021 despite the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola in a statement to shareholders.
“We continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigerian Identity Management Commission to update subscriber records with the national identity number (NIN). More than 35 million subscribers have submitted their NINs as at 30 April 2021, representing approximately 50% of our subscriber base and 63% of service revenue,” Toriola said.
Although active data subscribers fell slightly, MTN Nigeria still recorded an 86.7% increase in data traffic, supporting by additional access to the key 800MHz band.
Digital revenue grew by 101% and fintech revenue by 28.5% as customers continued to adopt digital products and services, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. — © 2021 NewsCentral Media