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MTN Nigeria Focuses on LTE Services, Rolls Out 1,188 Sites in Q1 2019 

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) on Thursday announced its unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, with a steady increase in revenues. The company also saw a significant increase in its capital expenditure programme, with focus on LTE services, rolling out 1,188 sites across our key focus cities.

A statement made available to e-Business Life said MTN Nigeria adopted the International Financial Reporting Standard IFRS 16 accounting standards in line with global best practice and adjustments.

The Highlights of the results showed that Service revenue increased by 13.4%; Voice revenue increased by 12.7%; Data revenue increased by 32.4%; Digital revenue decreased by 68.0%; Fintech revenue increased by 22.9%; EBITDA margin increased by 11.5pp to 53.3% (IAS 17: 44.2%); and Mobile subscribers increased by 2.1 million to 60.3 million.

Commenting on the results, CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, said: “Our first quarter performance was in line with expectations, as service revenue remained resilient with double-digit growth on the back of improvements in voice and data revenues. We connected a further 2.1 million people to our network, providing them access to worldwide communication services, while an additional 1.7 million people are able to access the possibilities that the internet provides. This growth is built on our focus on customer-centric delivery and in particular on improved customer retention, our continuous focus on value for money propositions and further network roll-out and enhancement. Q1 2019 saw a significant increase in our capital expenditure programme, with a focus on LTE services, where we rolled out 1,188 sites across our key focus cities. In addition, the successful transfer of our 800MHz spectrum from Visafone to MTN Nigeria will further enable improvements to network coverage and service quality.

We have made significant progress to list on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) following the conversion of MTN Nigeria to a public company and the successful registration of our ordinary shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We are now engaging with the NSE to complete the listing process.”

The business is on a sustainable growth path with service revenue increasing by 13.4% YoY, in line with our medium-term guidance of double-digit growth. This was led by a 32.4% increase in data revenue and a 12.7% increase in voice revenue, a general slowdown in economic activities during the election period, impacted voice revenue growth.

Growth in data revenue was supported by a 10.6 percentage point increase in smartphone penetration, improved network quality and a 9.1% increase in active data subscribers to 20.4 million. Total subscribers increased by 3.6% QoQ to 60.3 million.

Moolman said the company recorded an Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation (EBITDA) margin of 53.3%. On an IAS 17 basis, the MTN Boss said: “the margin increased to 44.2%, up 2.4 percentage points YoY, driven by the growth in revenue and effective cost management.”

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