South Africa-based emerging market mobile operator MTN Group has published a trading update for the January-March 2019 quarter, highlighting higher group service revenue for the first quarter, boosted by improved fintech revenue and continued expansion in voice and data. MTN reaffirmed its commitment to achieving its medium-term targets in noting that service revenue rose 10% year-on-year, led by performance in key markets, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.
In its home market, MTN said service revenue increased by 4.6% y-o-y with an EBITDA margin of 38.8% buoyed by a strong performance from its wholesale business, while MTN Nigeria reported service revenue increasing by 13.4% from Q1 2018 – in line with its medium-term guidance of double-digit growth – led by a 32.4% increase in data revenue and a 12.7% improvement in voice revenue.
Operationally speaking, MTN Group said the total aggregate subscriber base increased by a net four million quarter-on-quarter to 236.6 million, as data subscribers rose 2.6 million q-o-q to 81.3 million and MTN Mobile Money users climbed 1.2 million to 28.3 million.
Commenting on the quarterly update, MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said: ‘We are encouraged by the operational progress we continue to see across the business, supported by the network rollout we achieved and enhancements to the propositions that we offer to our customers. In South Africa, we implemented changed pricing for pre-paid propositions where we reduced, materially the out-of-bundle tariffs, making data services much more affordable.
Looking ahead, the company remains committed to achieving its medium-term targets through delivering against all elements of its so-called ‘BRIGHT’ strategy.