By Kayode Tokede
MTN Nigeria Plc has reported 43 per cent increase in profit after tax to N73.75billion in its unaudited first quarter ended March 31, 2021 from N51.7billion reported in first quarter of 2020.
The telecommunication company in its unaudited results stated for the period under review reported 34 per cent increase in Profit before tax to N102.99billion in Q1 2021 from N76.9billion reported in Q1 2020.
Key drivers to profit include 17.1 per cent increase in revenue and 11 per cent drop in net finance costs.
MTN Nigeria total revenue showed 17.2 per cent increase in service revenue to N385.3billion in Q1 2021 from N328.54billion in Q1 2020.
The breakdown of service revenue revealed that revenue from voice gained eight per cent to N244.6billion in Q1 2021 from N226.56billion in Q1 2020, while revenue from Data rose by 42.6 per cent to N105.69billion in Q1 2021 from N74.14billiono in Q1 2020.
Revenue from Digital rose significantly by 101 per cent to N3.78billion from N1.88billion reported in Q1 2020. In addition, revenue from its Fintech gained 28.5 per cent to N14.3billion in Q1 2021 from N11.1billion in Q1 2020 while other service revenue gained 12.7 per cent to N16.78billion in Q1 2021 from N14.87billion reported in Q1 2020.
MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola in a statement said, “We made good progress in the first quarter of 2021 despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to prioritise the safeguards put in place to protect the health and well-being of our people, customers and stakeholders and to control the spread of the virus while ensuring network resilience and efficiency.
“As part of our Y’ello Hope initiatives, we continue to support Government’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. We supported the most vulnerable in our communities, providing them with free-to-access services (including SMS and data) as well as essential medical supplies (tests and personal protective equipment).
“We continue to support the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that has driven multiple initiatives, such as building isolation centres across the country. MTN Nigeria also paid taxes early in support of Government’s ongoing efforts. In addition, our REVV support programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) helps them navigate the new digital reality.
“Operationally, service revenue in Q1 grew by 17.2per cent YoY, in line with our medium-term target, supported by growth of 42.6 per cent and eight per cent in data and voice revenue respectively.
This was achieved despite the impact of the pandemic and a decline in our subscriber base due to the effects of customer churn and the restrictions on new SIM sales and activations arising from changes in SIM registration regulations.
“We continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to update subscriber records with the National Identity Number (NIN).
“Thus far, more than 35 million subscribers have submitted their NINs as at 30 April 2021, representing approximately 50 per cent of our subscriber base and 63 per cent of service revenue. We are also actively supporting the Government’s NIN enrolment programme, with 182 points of enrolment active across the country.
“We are working with NIMC to increase the enrolment centres to provide an access point for as many Nigerian as possible.
“Impacted by the reduction in the overall subscriber base in Q1, active data subscribers declined marginally by 71,000 to 32.5 million. However, we recorded an 86.7% increase in data traffic and a 48.5% increase in usage (MB per user) from the existing base. The improvement in data services was supported by the completion of our acquisition and activation of an additional 800MHz spectrum, enabling us to further increase traffic by 10 per cent and enhance throughput by 79 per cent.
“Digital revenue grew by 101.0 per cent and fintech revenue by 28.5 per cent as customers continued to adopt more digital products and services, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. As at the end of March 2021, we had 449,100 registered MoMo agents and 4.6 million fintech customers.
“Our ability to drive service revenue growth while managing the growth in expenses resulted in an acceleration in EBITDA growth to 19.1 per cent and EBITDA margin expansion of 0.9pp to 53.1 per cent YoY. This enabled profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) growth of 33.9 per cent and 42.5 per cent respectively.”