MTN Nigeria has reported revenue growth of 17.2 per cent to N385.2bn in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with N329.2bn in the same period of 2020.
According to the unaudited first-quarter report of the company, the revenue growth was supported by an increase of 42.6 per cent and eight per cent in data and voice revenue respectively.
Mobile subscribers, however, declined by five million to 71.5 million which the company attributed to the effects of customer churn and the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.
Active data users also declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million, though there was an 86.7 per cent increase in data traffic and a 48.5 per cent increase in usage (MB per user) from the existing base.
MTN said more than 35 million subscribers had submitted their National Identity Numbers as of 30 April 2021, representing approximately 50 per cent of its subscriber base and 63 per cent of service revenue.
MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, said the company was supporting the NIN enrolment programme with 182 points of enrolment active across the country, adding that they were working with NIMC to increase the enrolment centres.
He added, “Digital revenue grew by 101.0 per cent and fintech revenue by 28.5 per cent as customers continued to adopt more digital products and services, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. As at the end of March 2021, we had 449,100 registered MoMo agents and 4.6 million fintech customers.
“Our ability to drive service revenue growth while managing the growth in expenses resulted in an acceleration in EBITDA growth to 19.1 per cent and EBITDA margin expansion of 0.9pp to 53.1 per cent year on year. This enabled profit before tax and profit after tax growth of 33.9 per cent and 42.5 per cent respectively.
MTN Voice revenue grew by 8.0%, supported by an 8.7% increase in traffic and our customer value management initiatives. The impact on voice revenue of the industry-wide suspension of new SIM registration in mid-December was partly offset by increased usage by active SIMs in our base and migration to a higher quality of experience.
Data revenue maintained the positive momentum from Q4 2020, rising by 42.6% YoY. This was led by increased usage and traffic, supported by 4G penetration and increased network capacity following the acquisition and activation of an additional 800MHz spectrum in March 2021. In line with our 4G acceleration, the 4G network now covers 61.8% of the population, up from 60.1% in December 2020. We added approximately 1.2 million new smartphones to the network, bringing smartphone penetration to 47.5% of our base, up from 45.9% in 2020.
Fintech revenue rose by 28.5%, driven by increased adoption of Xtratime and our core fintech services. We continue to expand our MoMo agent network and broaden our service offerings to include assisted withdrawal irrespective of the bank where the account is domiciled. Our registered MoMo agents increased by 54,000 to 449,146. The volume of transactions processed was over 24 million in the quarter, up more than four times YoY, from an active base of 4.6 million subscribers.
Our digital business continued to gain traction with the uptake of our products and services and the structural turnaround in the business. As a result, digital revenue rose by 101.0%, supported by our rich media and value-added services, while our active user base was largely flat at 2.8 million.”