MTN Group reported that net profit for the year ended 31 December 2019 rose 2.8% year-on-year to ZAR8.96 billion (USD557.4 million) from ZAR8.72 billion in 2018, noting that service revenue growth was ‘ahead of inflation’, with a strong acceleration recorded in the second half of the year. Group revenue for the year climbed to ZAR151.46 billion from ZAR134.56 billion in FY 2018, which it said helped to drive an increase in the margin on EBITDA (up to 42.3% from 35.9% previously) and reduce ‘CAPEX intensity’. MTN’s consolidated reported capital expenditure in 2019 reached ZAR26.28 billion, but it plans to increase CAPEX by 13% to ZAR28.50 billion in 2020 to continue investing in its networks, it said.
Group-wide, the South Africa-based carrier reported a total of 250.819 million mobile subscribers at end-2019, up a net 18.2 million y-o-y, while ‘active data subscribers’ climbed to 95.348 million from 78.749 million in 2018.
Also announced during the carrier’s FY19 results, MTN also confirmed that group CEO Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021. No successor has been appointed, but the company says it will undertake the process of finding a new group CEO this year to ensure ‘a seamless handover’. Shuter took on the role in 2017, having previously served as CEO of Vodafone Europe, and during his four-year tenure, he helped to transform MTN’s governance standards as well as being in the process of overhauling the group in its search for returns in all of its assets and services.