MTN Group announced it will be exiting from the Middle East and will strengthen focus on Africa. MTN will be selling its 75 percent stake in MTN Syria.
MTN Syria, MTN Yemen, MTN Afghanistan, MTN Sudan, MTN South Sudan and MTN Irancel are the operating companies of the group under MTN Middle East and North Africa.
“As a first step we are in discussions to sell our 75 percent stake in MTN Syria,” MTN Group president and chief executive officer Rob Shuter said.
MTN earlier announced that it will announce a new chief executive officer as a replacement for Rob Shuter. Rob Shuter will be joining BT Group as the CEO of its enterprise business in August.
MTN reported service revenue growth of 9.4 percent to R80 billion and EBITDA growth of 10.9 percent to R42 billion in the first half of 2020.
“MTN’s first half performance affirmed the resilience of our people and business model as we delivered strong results against the backdrop of unprecedented socio- and macroeconomic uncertainty and challenges,” said Rob Shuter said.
MTN added 11 million subscribers in the first six months of the year to reach a total base of 262 million. By end June 2020, MTN had 102 million active data users and 38 million active Mobile Money users.
MTN Group invested R10 billion in capital expenditure across markets and added 54 million people into 3G and 4G coverage. The focus on affordability of data saw the average rate per megabyte reduced by 34 percent.
MTN, as part of the asset realisation program, concluded the disposal of the tower company investments in Ghana and Uganda for R8.8 billion.
MTN has more than 257 million customers in 21 markets.
The group’s network coverage for data services reaches 480 million people. MTN in 2019 distributed 675 000 affordable data-enabled handsets across 12 markets. It also launched a digital literacy programme in nine markets, helping over three million people improve their understanding of the mobile internet and applications.
MTN in 2018 and 2019 reduced entry-level data rates across its footprint by 60 percent. In 2019 alone, MTN cut the effective data price per megabyte by 34 percent. MTN recently
recorded up to 50 percent increase in data volumes in some markets.
MTN aims to grow its customer base to 300 million and for at least 2/3 to be accessing the power of the internet on an MTN network.