Nigeria: MTN grows profit by 31.3% to N96.8b in Q1 2022

MINA Blog- MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) has announced its unaudited results for the quarter ended 31 March 2022 with profit after tax (PAT) growing by 31.3% to N96.8 billion.

The key metrics of the result include, Mobile subscribers declined by 1.3 million to 70.2 million YoY, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations, Added 1.7 million subscribers in Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021; Active data users increased by 3.4 million to 35.9 million Yoy- Added 1.6 million active users in Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021; Active fintech subscribers rose by 6.2 million to 10.7 million YoY- Added 1.3 million subscribers in Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021; Service revenue increased by 22.0% to N469.8 billion; Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 25.7% to N257.1 billion; EBITDA margin increased by 1.5 percentage points (pp) to 54.6%; Profit after tax (PAT) grew by 31.3% to N96.8 billion; Earnings per share (EPS) rose by 31.3% to N4.76 kobo; Capital expenditure (Capex) rose by 80.8% to N162.5 billion (up 156.8% to N81.2 billion, excluding right of use assets); and Final dividend of N8.57 kobo per share for FY 2021

MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola in his comments on the result said: “We have continued to make good progress in the first quarter, building on the momentum we achieved in Q4 2021 and delivering several key milestones as we grow our connectivity business and platforms. This was achieved against a backdrop of significant geopolitical volatility exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. This conflict has significantly impacted energy prices, broader inflation, supply chains and consumer spending.

“Nevertheless, I am pleased that we have made significant strides in deepening our relationships with all our stakeholders while substantially enhancing our contributions to government revenue. In recognition of our remarkable performance in remittance of taxes despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) recognised MTN Nigeria as a top 20 taxpayer and one of the best tax compliant organisations in Nigeria for the 2021 tax year.

“In terms of strategic milestones, we concluded the first phase of a series of transactions to increase Nigerian ownership in MTN Nigeria, and we are delighted to have welcomed 126,720 retail investors to our shareholder base, many of whom are first-time investors. This includes Nigerian pension funds representing approximately 6.5 million Nigerian contributors. As at 31 March 2022, the number of retail shareholders had increased to approximately 139,000, demonstrating the advances in MTN’s localisation imperative.

“We also completed a group-wide brand refresh to position the business appropriately as we accelerate our growth and scale our platforms through our Ambition 2025 strategy.

“In addition, we have fully paid for one lot of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum band and have been assigned the 3500 – 3600 MHz frequencies for 10 years.

“We will launch our 5G services once regulatory approval is obtained.

“Post the reporting period, we were granted final approval for our MoMo Payment Service Bank (PSB) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This will enable us to offer financial services in line with the CBN’s guidelines and support the government in fulfilling its agenda of driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

“Although our mobile subscriber base declined by 1.9% YoY from 71.5 million in March 2021 to 70.2 million, we sustained the growth trajectory from Q4 2021 as we ramp up capacity for SIM registration and NIN enrolment. As a result, we added 1.7 million subscribers in Q1 2022. In addition, active data subscribers rose by 10.5% YoY to 35.9 million, with 1.6 million added in Q1 as we continued to drive data conversion from our new and existing subscriber base.

“To enable the growth in subscribers and traffic, we continued to enhance the capacity of our network. In doing so, we frontloaded our capex plan for the year, deploying capex of N162.5 billion in the period to accommodate the sustained demand for data and accelerate the rollout of our 4G network, which now covers approximately 72% of the population and accounts for 76% of data traffic.

“Our existing MoMo business provides a solid foundation for launching MoMo PSB and driving digital and financial inclusion in Nigeria. As at the end of March 2022, we had approximately 10.7 million active users and 166k active MoMo agents.

“Our financial performance in the quarter was underpinned by strong commercial momentum, driving growth across our key revenue lines. Service revenue grew by 22%, in line with our medium-term growth guidance of ‘at least 20%’. This was led by growth in data and supported by voice, fintech and digital services.

“Our ability to drive service revenue growth while managing expenses resulted in an acceleration in EBITDA growth to 25.7% and EBITDA margin expansion of 1.5pp to 54.6% YoY. This underpinned profit before tax (PBT) and PAT growth of 39.4% and 31.3%, respectively.

“At the Annual General Meeting held on 28 April 2022, the shareholders approved a final dividend of N174.5 billion, representing N8.57 kobo per share for FY 2021.

“On the regulatory front, on 4 April 2022, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced its decision not to extend the deadline for NINSIM linkage further, requiring all operators to restrict outgoing calls for subscribers whose SIMs were not associated with National Identity Numbers (NINs). We have complied with this directive and continue to support the Government’s efforts in their NIN enrolment process. As at 25 April 2022, approximately 60 million subscribers have submitted their NINs, representing about 85% of our subscriber base.

“The MTN Nigeria Foundation continued its initiatives in Q1, reaching more than 10,000 people in over 90 communities in five states through medical outreach.

“The Foundation also awarded scholarships worth N74 million to 370 scholars, bringing the total value of granted scholarships to approximately N3 billion, benefitting about 5,000 young Nigerians.

“Furthermore, I am pleased that we have a new Chief Operating Officer, Hassan Jaber, who will continue the great work Mazen Mroue has done over recent years to drive the operational efficiency that will support our continued growth.

“We wish Mazen the best in his new role as MTN Group Chief Information and Technical Officer.

“Finally, we will continue executing our strategy to deliver service revenue growth in line with medium-term guidance. We continue to focus on driving operating leverage and extracting efficiencies to support earnings, cash flow growth and returns over the medium term.”

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