MTN Group, a leading telecommunications company, has announced impressive financial results for the year to date (YTD) 2023, showcasing substantial network investments and business growth.
MTN invested a significant capex of R26.2 billion YTD in networks and platforms, staying committed to expanding and improving its infrastructure. The group’s strategic focus on network enhancements and sustainable growth has been evident with their network Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures.
Eleven of their markets, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda, are leading in NPS. South Africa is ranked #2, with a narrowing gap to the top position. The capex intensity achieved during this period, at 15.9 percent, is well within their medium-term target range of 15-18 percent.
MTN Group has reported a 14.2 percent increase in service revenue, driven by steady growth of 2.6 percent from MTN South Africa (MTN SA) and strong growth in MTN Nigeria (up 21.4 percent) and MTN Ghana (up 36.6 percent). Although there was a slowdown in Q3 service revenue growth, impacted by the conflict in Sudan, when excluding MTN Sudan, the group service revenue growth in Q3 would have been 13.9 percent.
Despite challenges in subscriber growth due to regulatory changes in Ghana and Nigeria, as well as a decline in subscribers in Sudan amid ongoing conflict, the subscriber base increased by 1.8 percent to 290.1 million. Active data subscribers also saw a substantial increase, rising by 6.7 percent to 144.6 million, supporting increased traffic and data revenue growth.
Mobile Money (MoMo) active users increased by 0.7 percent YoY to 63.5 million. This was partly impacted by a strategic shift from agent banking to wallet services in Nigeria, and changes in the definition of activity across the group, affecting Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa adversely. Transaction volume and value increased by 33.9 percent and 57.1 percent, respectively, delivering strong service revenue growth of 22.1 percent YoY, with advanced services contributing 25.7 percent.
MTN Group’s EBITDA increased by 11.2 percent overall, with the EBITDA margin at 43.2 percent YTD. However, there was some impact on the margin due to factors like inflation, forex depreciation, network resilience costs in MTN SA, and operational challenges in Sudan. To mitigate these impacts, the company initiated an expense efficiency program, resulting in sustainable cost savings of R1.5 billion YTD, achieving their 2023 target.
The company remains on track to deploy capex according to their FY2023 guidance of R40.1 billion, with an anticipated capex intensity within their medium-term target range of 15-18 percent. In addition, they have already delivered on their target of R1.5 billion in expense efficiencies for FY2023 and are aiming for an additional R7-8 billion in savings over three years, starting from 2024.
MTN South Africa deployed capex of R6.6 billion, excluding leases, with an intensity of 17.4 percent, focusing on network resilience and capacity. Including leases, the capex amounted to R10.6 billion. The company has also paid R1.9 billion for low-band spectrum acquired in the 2022 auction, which will facilitate the efficient deployment of capex in the future.
MTN Nigeria continues to strategically deploy capital to maintain its leading network position and aims to deliver capex intensity within the 15-18 percent range.
MTN Group’s financial resilience, strong performance, and network investments demonstrate their commitment to delivering quality telecommunications services to their customers and fostering sustainable growth in the industry.