MTN adds 7.7m new subscribers in six months

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Rob Shuter, MTN group president and CEO.
Rob Shuter, MTN group president and CEO.

Pan-African mobile operator MTN Group today announced an increase of 12% in adjusted headline earnings per share – the first time in recent years the company has delivered such growth.

Buoyed by fintech and data growth, MTN’s service revenue grew just below 10% and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) just above 10%, both on a constant currency basis.

The mobile operator says it is impressed by the results for the six months ended 30 June in the context of difficult trading conditions across its major markets.

In the first six months, MTN added 7.7 million subscribers, to reach a total of 240 million. The number of active data users grew by 3.5 million to 82 million and its 30-day active Mobile Money users grew by 2.4 million to 30 million.

During the period, MTN successfully completed the listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and its e-commerce joint venture Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The operator adds that within three months of announcing its asset realisation programme, which is targeting at least R15 billion over the next few years, it delivered R2.1 billion in proceeds.

The operator’s fintech revenue increased by 30.7%, supported by customer growth of 8.9%, to 30 million active Mobile Money (MoMo) users, with monthly average revenue per user of $1.30.

According to MTN, the total value of transactions in the six months to June was $44.1 billion, and it processed 9 193 transactions per minute. In May, the company launched Africa's first MoMo artificial intelligence service, or chatbot, in Ivory Coast.

MTN has also hit it big with its advanced instant messaging platform, Ayoba, which is now live in three of its West African markets and has more than 300 000 active monthly users.

Further, MTN says it is pleased with the formal approval of its super-agent licence in Nigeria, which clears the way for the launch of phase one of its Nigeria fintech business while awaiting a banking licence.

Rob Shuter, MTN group president and CEO, says: “We had a good first half, reporting solid financial results, good commercial momentum and encouraging strategic progress.

“We saw growth of 12% in adjusted headline earnings per share, which is the first time that we have delivered growth in this measure in recent years.

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