Phuthama Nhelko, the chief executive of pan-African cellco MTN Group, has said the expansion of operations into new markets remains imperative for the company’s future growth. Commenting on the company’s financial results to the end of September 2004, Mr Nhelko hinted that MTN might pursue forthcoming licence opportunities in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
MTN recorded total revenues of ZAR13.72 billion (USD2.08 billion) for the first six months of 2004, up 22% from the ZAR11.72 billion reported in the same period of 2003. Net profits soared by 60% to ZAR2.9 billion as the operator’s subscriber base grew by 40% to eleven million. South Africa remains MTN’s largest market, with 6.9 million customers at the end of September 2004, up from 6.27 million six months previously, followed by Nigeria, where it had 2.59 million active subscribers (1.96 million).