Nigeria fuels MTN growth, SA revenues fall

Nigeria fuelled MTN Group’s double-digit revenue growth in the four months to the end of April 2014, however the company’s home operations in South Africa lagged behind with revenues decreasing year-on-year.

MTN said its Nigerian unit had recorded “healthy” revenue growth, spurred by the lift of a ban on SIM card sales effective during March, with MTN Nigeria adding 1.1 million subscribers to the network in April alone – contributing to the two per cent growth in MTN’s total subscriber base.

The operator said growing revenues in Nigeria are accountable to outgoing voice and data usage, with the network maintaining a high quality and capacity and enabling the company to be competitive in the market and put forward attractive offerings.

Meanwhile MTN South Africa’s operations saw revenues decrease compared to the same period in 2013, with the company saying the negative growth is due to reductions to retail rates and the lower mobile termination rates (MTRs) implemented from April 1.

“The South African operation remains under pressure as it ensures its market offerings are attractive in a highly competitive data and voice market,” the operator said.

With 14.5 million data users on its network, MTN South Africa said this service contributes the most to revenues.

On a group level, MTN said data uptake was the driving force behind revenues, with total data revenues up 43 per cent year-on-year, accounting for 17 per cent of overall group revenues.

Operations across Iran, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Syria and Sudan have also shown “healthy” performances, as more subscribers sign up to the network, with MTN saying it is focusing on providing valuable offerings to attract customers.

The operator made note of “regulatory challenges” in key markets putting pressure on performance, but said it is confident of achieving its goals and deliver on strategies.

“While the operating environment remains challenging with persistent price competition and regulatory challenges in key markets, the Group remains focused on improving its performance and delivering on its strategy,” MTN said.

“Growing data services and Mobile Money are key areas of focus for the Group as traditional voice revenue remains under pressure. Improving customer experience in all of our operations is central to our strategy.

“Cost optimisation and the execution of our infrastructure sharing strategy continue to make good progress. MTN believes that it is well placed to take advantage of value accretive opportunities while mitigating the various risks we face.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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