MTN South Africa grew its subscriber base by 7.1% at the end of March 2022, from a year ago, to reach 34.5 million subscribers, driven by a good performance in both the prepaid and post-paid segments.
The mobile operator, which is owned by MTN Group, saw a 7% annual increase in prepaid users to 27 million, while there was an impressive 7.4% uplift in contract subscribers to 7.5 million on the back of what the company described as “solid growth in integrated voice and data-centric plans”. This, it said, has resulted in an expansion of its market share in South Africa.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda is a measure of operational profitability) rose by 3.7% year on year to R4.9-billion, with the Ebitda margin improving to 39.9%, from 39.8% previously.
Service revenue increased by 4.6%, in line with the company’s medium-term guidance. “This result was supported by solid commercial and operational execution, yielding service revenue growth in all the core business units: the prepaid consumer business unit (CBU) up 1.5%; the post-paid CBU up 4.4%; the enterprise business unit up 23.1%; and the wholesale business up 1.9%,” it said.
The strong performance came despite the weak economy and high unemployment numbers. Consumers flocked to data-led propositions, with data traffic growth of 46.7% and a 14.1% increase in active data users to 17.3 million, leading to a 14.3% increase in overall mobile data revenue.
As of end-March, an active prepaid data subscriber consumed an average of 4GB/month, up 37% year on year, and an active post-paid data subscriber used nearly 11.8GB/month, an increase of 20%.
The enterprise business unit was the star performer, underpinned by “sustained growth in data deals, bulk SMS and the ICT business”. Also helping was the fact that MTN was last year appointed as one of the service providers to national government under national treasury’s transversal contract.
MTN South Africa recognised R643-million (down 4.7% year on year) in national roaming revenue from Cell C; a balance of R400-million remained unrecognised at the end of the first quarter.
In fintech, MTN had five million registered Mobile Money users by end-March, though only 840 000 of those were active. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media