MTN Nigeria has disclosed a total amount of N226.9 billion as its revenue coming from voice calls for the first three months of the year 2020.
In its unaudited report submitted to Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), the telco reported revenue growth of 16.7 per cent to N328.5bn in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 compared with N282.1bn in the same period in 2019.
According to the report, the growth was mainly driven by voice revenue and data revenue which rose to ₦74 billion – a 60% increase compared with Q1 2019.
The telco’s data revenue for Q1 2020 increased by 59.2 percent supported by the growth in data traffic.
Revenue from data subscriptions is expected to further increase this quarter (Q2 2020) as workers in many parts of Nigeria are working remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak.
MTN noted that 4.2 million subscribers were added to the network, further driving voice revenue growth of 7.4% while 1.7 active subscribers connected to the internet during 2020 first quarter.
There was strong growth in digital and fintech revenue. Digital revenue grew by 63.7 per cent while fintech revenue growth of 36.1 per cent.
Furthermore, it announced a profit after tax of ₦51 billion in Q1 2020 – a 6% increase compared with Q1 2019. Net profit increased by 5.6 percent to NGN 51.15 billion from NGN 48.44 billion in Q1 2019 and earnings per share increased by 5.6 percent to NGN 0.025.
Profit before tax grew by 8.9% to N76bn while profit after tax grew by 5.6% to N51bn.
EBITDA grew by 15.3 percent year on year to NGN 173.5 billion resulting in an EBITDA margin of 52.5 percent, an increase of 0.6 percentage points.
Mobile Money Agent network grew to 178,000, adding 70,000 agents during the quarter
However, the telecommunications company Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman highlighted that contrary to popular opinion, the impact of COVID 19 on MTN first quarter performance was not significant, expect for delayed orders.
“Given that lockdown measures only started towards the end of the quarter and given the uncertainty associated with the likely duration and related economic impact of the COVlD-19 pandemic and its effects on our customers, unstable oil prices as well as pressure on the rate and availability of foreign exchange, it is currently too early to reliably quantify the direct or indirect financial effects on our business going forward.
“We have activated our business continuity plan and implemented extensive response measures aimed at mitigating the potential impact on the network and overall business performance. The continuity plan covers among others supply chain, management of credit and liquidity, currency risk, counterparty risk and potential revenue impacts from reduced consumer spend” Moolman stressed.
Albeit, he noted that towards the end of march, MTN Nigeria started experiencing change in traffic patterns with a drop in voice traffic which was partially offset by an increase in data traffic.
Moolman further stated that data traffic increased as customers began to adopt digital channels for most of their activities and routing including telecommuting, entertainment and social media engagements due to lockdown.
“To accommodate this, we have deployed additional resources to upgrade the capacity of the network. Enhancing operating efficiency remains critical at this time, with an increased focus on optimizing costs and cash flow generation.” he said.