By Kayode Tokede
MTN Nigeria Plc has announced N211.6 billion profit before tax in its unaudited result and accounts for nine months ended September 30, 2020.
The unaudited results to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday showed 0.6 per cent decline from N212.91 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2019.
The telecommunication company also reported 3.30 per cent decline in profit after tax to N144.24billion in nine months of 2020 as against N149.22 reported in nine months of 2019.
Revenue grew by 13.9 per cent to N975.76 billion in nine months of 2020 from N856.55billion in nine months of 2019, over improved performance in digital revenue.
The breakdown of MTN Nigeria revenue showed that voice gained 13.9 per cent to N973.8billion in nine months of 2020 as against N854.9billion in nine months of 2019 while Data gained 4.2 per cent to N241.6billion from N153.86billion reported in the prior nine months of 2019.
As revenue from digital grew by 114.3 per cent to N6.68billion in nine months under review from N3.1billion in prior nine months, Fintech gained 28.3 per cent from N25.2billion in nine months of 2019 to N32.37billion in nine months of 2020.
In addition to revenue, Other services revenue dropped by 13.1 per cent to N38.6billion from N44.45billion reported in nine months of 2019.
The Managing Director, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdi Moolman. in a statement said, “The year 2020 has been challenging for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic was first reported in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2020 and the country has, to date, registered over 62,000 cases and over 1,100 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Many share a common distressing story of health, social and financial consequences of the pandemic. The recent agitations across the country are of further concern and our thoughts and prayers are with all those directly and indirectly affected.
“During the period under review, we saw volatility in both voice and data revenue, affecting the trajectory of our overall service revenue, as well as pressure on costs, which continues to impact on our operating margins, dampening profitability. Following a decline in voice traffic and an acceleration in data during the lockdowns in Q2,we have seen a normalisation of traffic as restrictions have been removed, with a recovery in voice traffic and continued growth in data. This has supported a 13.9 per cent growth in service revenue, with fintech services rose by 114.4 per cent and 28.3 per cent respectively, while voice revenue growth was 4.2 per cent.
“We saw a significant increase in our subscriber base with the addition of 3.9million customers in Q3, bringing total subscribers to 75million. Cumulative net additions totalled 10.7 million in the nine months of September 2020- the first time we have exceeded 10 million additions in an annual cycle with one quarter remaining. We also connected 1.7 million new users to the internet in Q3 (5.5 million for the nine months), bringing our active data subscribers to 30.7 million.
“To accommodate the increase in tariff and enhance service quality for all our customers, we continued to invest in the capacity and resilience of our network, accelerating our 4G rollout and expanding our investments in rural connectivity. Our 4G network now covers 52.9 per cent of the population up from 48.6 per cent in Q2 and 35.4 per cent in Q3 2019.”
He added that, “in the remaining quarter of 2020, we will build on the momentum from Q3 to further expand 4G coverage and broaden rural connectivity. This, backed by our revamped acquisition offers, will help to boost subscriber acquisition as well as support the continued growth in voice and data revenue.”