MTN South Africa improved service revenue by 4.2% in the 2018 financial year while at the same time growing operating margins, parent MTN Group said on Thursday.
Data revenue grew by 12.7% and digital and fintech revenue rose by 4.7% in the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. Margins, based on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, rose by 0.7 percentage point to 35.1%. Ebitda was 7% higher at R15.7-billion, with capital expenditure down 17.6% compared to 2017.
“MTN South Africa reported a steady improvement in service revenue, cash generation and profitability for the year in line with our guidance on service revenue growth and Ebitda margin improvement,” the group said.
“This was supported by strong growth in the consumer post-paid business, significant growth in the wholesale business on the back of the network roaming agreements (Cell C) and stability in the enterprise business in the second half of the year.”
However, the growth in customer service revenue was below expectations with the prepaid business being the main drag, it said. “The focus on stabilising and growing the enterprise business is delivering results and is expected to show traction in the year ahead, supporting service revenue growth.”
Prepaid service revenue increased by 0.2%, while post-paid service revenue increased by 3,8%. The post-paid performance was a “strong improvement” over the first-half decline of 2.5%, it said. It was supported by lower churn and strong data volumes, with data revenue up over 30%, “well ahead of the market”. But there was a marked increase in competition, which is expected to impact market growth in 2019.
MTN South Africa’s subscriber base increased by 5.7% from December 2017 to 31.2 million on the back of network improvements. Market share losses were ended, it said. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media