MTN Group claims ‘strong and resilient’ Q1 results, despite fall in subscribers

5 May 2021

South Africa-based carrier MTN Group has announced its results for the three months ending 31 March 2021, claiming to have delivered a ‘strong and resilient’ performance with service revenue up 17.8% year-on-year to ZAR42.3 billion (USD2.93 billion), driven by gains in data and fintech revenue, and EBITDA up 21.3% with the EBITDA margin widening from 42.7% to 44.2%. Group data revenue reportedly increased by almost 33% due to high demand from those working from home in the pandemic, as well as digital entertainment and online education offerings. Fintech revenue also accelerated MTN said, growing by 31% as ‘the value of fintech transactions increased by 87% to USD53 billion’. However, it noted that the group’s overall subscriber base dropped by 1.7 million to 277.9 million – largely attributed to MTN Nigeria and ‘restrictions on all new SIM sales and activations in that market’. Further, the Group’s active data subscribers dropped by 1.3 million on an annualised basis to 115.6 million, although the number of mobile money (MoMo) customers increased by a net 200,000 to 46.6 million. The carrier added that, excluding the impact of MTN Nigeria, total subscribers and active data subscribers increased by 3.4 million and 1.3 million, respectively.

‘The MTN Group has delivered a solid Q1 2021 trading performance, with service revenue and EBITDA margins expanding on the back of continued commercial momentum and resilient networks,’ said MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita, adding that the Group’s Ambition 2025 strategy had gained execution traction during challenging COVID-19 macroeconomic conditions in the quarter. The Group remains committed to its asset realisation programme (ARP) and is confident of making progress on realising the 29% stake in tower company IHS Group in the short term. This is key to MTN’s ARP. IHS continues to explore an IPO of its shares in line with its public statement made in August 2020.

South Africa, MTN Group