MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (“MTN Nigeria“) has announced its audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2020.
- Mobile subscribers increased by 12.2 million to 76.5 million
- Active data users increased by 7.4 million to 32.6 million
- Service revenue increased by 14.7% to NGN1.3 trillion
- Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 9.7% to N685.7 billion
- EBITDA margin declined by 2.5 percentage points (pp) to 50.9%
- Profit before tax (PBT) grew by 2.6% to N298.9 billion
- Earnings per share (EPS) rose by 0.9% to N10.1
- Proposed final dividend of N5.90 kobo per share
Commenting on the result, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said:
“2020 was a challenging year for all. The unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the businesses and people we serve, challenged us in new and demanding ways. The impact continues to evolve. Adoption of our data and digital services accelerated as lockdowns and gathering restrictions were imposed, and work-from-home became the norm for many.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic; the toll on lives and livelihoods globally has been profound. To date, Nigeria has recorded 155,417 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,905 related deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). MTN Nigeria has also been directly impacted by the pandemic, with 62 employees diagnosed with COVID-19 and 46 recoveries. Sadly, one of our employees succumbed to the virus.
“Our employees adapted quickly to working remotely to ensure that our customers remained connected. I am incredibly proud that we were able to meet the challenges faced in 2020, by pulling together, working closely with the government and our regulators, and understanding our customers’ evolving needs.
Y’ello Hope Initiatives
“As we navigated the fallout of the pandemic, adapting our processes and structures to the new realities, we acted swiftly to support the national response in a holistic way. This was encapsulated in our Y’ello Hope initiatives through which we provided support to our broad base of stakeholders to the value of approximately N25 billion.
“We provided free-to-access services (including SMS and data) to the most vulnerable, supported the acquisition of essential medical supplies (tests and personal protective equipment), and joined the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that drove multiple initiatives, including building isolation centres across the country. We also paid our taxes early in support of government’s ongoing efforts. In January 2021, MTN Group partnered with the African Union contributing US$25 million to their COVID-19 vaccination programme. MTN Nigeria is pleased to play its part in this initiative, through which Nigeria will receive 1.4 million vaccine doses for the benefit of health workers.
MTN REVV programme
“In addition, we committed marketing resources to our #WearItForMe campaign to help create awareness around wearing masks, and our REVV support programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) helped them navigate the new digital reality.
“Our performance demonstrated the strong operational execution and resilience in our business. We connected 12.2 million new customers to our network, bringing our total subscriptions to 76.5 million. The introduction of additional customer registration requirements and suspension of the sale and activation of new SIMs towards the end of the year affected subscriber growth. We remain committed to ensuring our subscriber records are updated with the National Identity Number (NIN), and continue working closely with the government, supporting their efforts by expanding capacity to provide NIN enrolment services across our customer interaction touchpoints.
“Active data users increased by 7.4 million to 32.6 million, supported by growth in gross connections and the expansion of our 4G network. Our mobile money (MoMo) business also continued to accelerate with a 269.2% increase in the number of registered agents to over 395,000 and 4.7 million active subscribers from approximately 553,000 in 2019.
“Service revenue grew by 14.7%, in line with our medium-term targets, driven mainly by voice and data revenue. Voice revenue growth was 5.9%, and although this was subdued in Q2 due to COVID-19 induced restrictions, we saw a pickup in momentum into H2. Data revenue rose by 51.2%, with increased data usage and traffic. To accommodate this and enhance service quality, we focused on capacity upgrades and 4G population coverage, while expanding our investments in rural connectivity. Our 4G network now covers 60.1% of the population, up from 43.8% in 2019.
“EBITDA rose by 9.7%, supported by service revenue growth. However, the EBITDA margin declined by 2.5pp to 50.9%. This was mainly due to increased operating expenses, arising from the rollout of new sites and the impact of Naira depreciation, affecting in particular the costs of our lease contracts. Despite the increase in costs, we recorded an improvement in our bottom-line earnings, with profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) increasing by 2.6% and 0.9% respectively.
“In line with our dividend policy, the board has proposed a final dividend of N5.90 kobo per share to be paid out of distributable net income. This brings the total dividend for the year to N9.40 kobo per share, representing an increase of 18.7%.
“I thank the Board, Management, and staff of MTN Nigeria for the support given to me and the opportunity to serve in Nigeria as I complete my tenure as CEO of MTN Nigeria and assume a new role as MTN Group Chief Risk Officer. Effective 1 March 2021, Karl Toriola will take over as the CEO. I wish Karl and his new team the very best.”