South Africa-based regional carrier MTN Group said its consolidated service revenue came in ‘ahead of medium-term targets’, improving by 15.9% year-on-year to ZAR45.755 billion (USD2.8 billion), while Group EBITDA increased by 21.1%, with the EBITDA margin expanding by 2.2pp to 46.4%. In a brief quarterly trading update the company noted that its first-quarter performance ‘was supported by service revenue growth at our large operations, which was delivered in line with medium-term targets, and the disciplined execution of our expense efficiency programme’. In terms of other key financial highlights, it noted that Group data revenue surged 37.3% and fintech revenue climbed 21.2%, while legacy voice revenue was only up by 2.6%.
Operationally, MTN Group closed out 31 March 2022 with a total of 276.2 million mobile subscriptions across all its markets, up 3.2% y-o-y, although it noted that the low growth was impacted by new SIM registrations in Nigeria; excluding MTN Nigeria, subscriptions were up 3.9%, it said. Further, active data subscribers increased by 13.1% to 125.6 million and active mobile money (MoMo) customers rose a significant 25.9% to 58.7 million.
Commenting on the challenging operating environment, Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita, said: ‘The MTN Group delivered a solid Q1 2022 performance, with double-digit service revenue growth and the expansion of the EBITDA margin supported by the focused execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy. This was delivered in a challenging macroeconomic environment in which we continued to navigate the impacts of COVID-19. Many of our markets have also experienced rising inflation and interest rates, and pressure on consumer spending driven by recent global events impacting food and energy prices in particular.’