MTN Group has posted a buoyant set of financial results for the six months to the end of September 2003, boosted by a better-than-expected performance from its international subsidiaries. Revenues rose 30% on the corresponding period of 2002 to ZAR11.27 billion, whilst EBITDA and net profit increased by 60% and 168%, to ZAR4.33 billion and ZAR2.13 billion respectively. The Group’s core South African operations generated a turnover of ZAR7.105 billion, a rise of 26%, whist its international division registered sales of ZAR4.117 billion, up 39%. Both MTN Nigeria and MTN Uganda recorded EBITDA margins in excess of 50%.
MTN South Africa ended the period with 5.36 million mobile subscribers, with 130,000 post-paid and 507,000 pre-paid customers added in the six months. Monthly blended average revenue per user (ARPU) reached ZAR207, up marginally from ZAR206 in March 2003. MTN Nigeria’s cellular subscriber base rose by 33% to 1.381 million, with monthly blended ARPU standing at USD55. The operator is planning to capitalise on the marked growth by accelerating the rollout of its Nigerian infrastructure. It recently raised USD395 million for network expansion and claimed to have increased the number of operational base stations in the country from 378 to 652 in the eight months to the end of November 2003.