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MTN Nigeria Records Solid Growth In Profit After Tax Despite Fall In Mobile Subscribers



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MTN Nigeria grew its revenue by 23% for the nine months ended September 2021 despite the fall in mobile subscribers during the period which was caused by regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.

The telecommunications giant disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Friday.

Revenue grew from N975.7 Billion in 2020 to N1.2 Trillion in 2021. This was driven by Voice revenue which jumped from N558.7 Billion in 2020 to N610.2 Billion in 2021. Data revenue rose from N241.6 Billion in 2020 to N366.2 Billion in 2021. SMS revenue saw a massive increase from N8.3 Billion in 2020 to N33.3 Billion in 2021. Digital revenue was the only revenue line to record a decrease, digital revenue decreased from N26.3 Billion in 2020 to N12 Billion in 2021.

The full highlights are:

Mobile subscribers declined by 7.5 million to 67.5 million, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations

• Active data users increased by 2.5 million to 33.2 million
• Service revenue was up by 23.7% to N1,204.4 billion
• Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 27.4% to N634.5 billion
• EBITDA margin improved by 1.6 percentage points (pp) to 52.6%
• Capital expenditure was up by 34.4% to N261.1 billion (up 27.9% to N166.5 billion excluding the right of use [RoU] assets)
• Earnings per share of N10.8 kobo, up 52.7%

MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola comments: “In the first nine months of 2021, we continued to enhance the resilience of the business, improve our performance and make good progress towards our Ambition 2025 strategy. Creating shared value has become a strategic priority within the Ambition 2025 framework. As a result, we continue to deepen our support for and partnerships in Nigeria. Our focus on deepening our partnerships has resulted in signing a five-year strategic partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation to become the official communications partner. We are excited about the potential to combine the power of our network and technology solutions with the passion that Nigerians have for football.”

“We have also partnered with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment to participate in and support the 2021 US-Nigeria Investment Summit in September. The partnership was in recognition of our role as a successful model for foreign direct investment in Nigeria. In view of our intention to participate in restoring and refurbishing the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit (RITC) scheme, we continue to engage with the relevant parties to actualize the project. Towards the end of the quarter, our network was restricted in some locations, in line with the directives of relevant authorities and in compliance with our licence conditions, to address security issues in those areas. This has slightly affected some of our business activities.”

In addition, we had an outage on 9 October 2021 that left customers without a network connection. We have compensated our customers and put measures in place to continuously provide quality services to our customers. The resilience we are building in the business is reflected in our performance, demonstrating our ability to achieve continued growth despite the ongoing impact of SIM registration and activation restrictions on subscriber growth. While our overall subscriber numbers have continued to decline over the last quarter, this has been at a reduced rate, and we have seen our data subscriber numbers return to growth, increasing by 2.5 million. We expect the decline in the overall subscriber base to bottom out and return to positive net additions in Q4 2021 as we progressively ramp up our SIM registration and activation infrastructure while adopting and aligning with the new regulations.”

“Overall, service revenue continues to grow, increasing by 23.7%, ahead of the rate of inflation and supported by voice revenue growth of 10.6% and accelerated data revenue growth of 51.5%. In addition, our focus on cost management through our expense efficiency programme, combined with service revenue growth, led to a 1.6pp EBITDA margin expansion to 52.6% and translated into an increase of 51.9% in Profit Before Tax (PBT).”

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MTN Nigeria Paid $273.6 Million for 3.5GHz Spectrum Licence to Facilitate 5G Rollout



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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has emerged as one of the winners for 3.5GHz spectrum licence bids organised by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Three companies, MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications and Airtel Networks Limited, participated in the bid for the 3.5GHz spectrum auction needed for the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) internet. MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications emerged as the two winners in the keenly contested bid.

Airtel Networks Limited dropped out of the bid after the 11th round at $270 million. Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, therefore announced MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited as the two winners.

Each of the winners will now pay $273.6 million for the spectrum. However, MTN Nigeria will pay an additional $15,900,000 to get lot one of the spectrum, while Mafab will pay $11,120,000 to get lot two.

The two winners are now expected to make full payment by February 24, 2022. To qualify for the bid, each of the bidders had paid a non-refundable N7.5 billion, a 10 percent of N750 billion or $197.4 million starting amount for the bidding.

Mr. Karl Toriola, MTN Chief Executive Officer represented MTN at the bidding. Airtel Networks was represented by its Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Sreeddhar Krishna Menon, and Mafab Communications Limited was represented by its Chairman, Alhaji Musibau Bashir.

Commenting on the success of the bidding, MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola, said “5G is the future of network technology and offers incredible possibilities for new and enhanced services for our customers. Our successful bid presents an opportunity to be at the forefront of delivering these technological advancements to as many Nigerians as possible.

“The benefits of 5G are multi-faceted, and they hold the key to unlocking new avenues for the nation’s growth and development. It is far more than high-speed internet or faster-streaming speeds; 5G has implications for improved service delivery across every sector. It has the potential to transform our nation’s economy and make a difference in the daily lives of every Nigerian. We thank the NCC for organising a transparent auction which will transport us into the ‘tomorrow’ we desire.”

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NCC Urges Telecommunications Operators to Respect Licensing Requirements, Addresses Stakeholder Engagement



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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has encouraged telecoms licences across different areas of the telecommunications sector to strictly follow their licensing obligations, in order to ensure the adequate provision of services to their consumers.

This call was made by the Chairman of the NCC’s Board of Commissioners, Prof. Adeolu Akande at the third edition of the Commission’s Talk to The Regulator (TTR) Forum, which took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. The theme of the programme was: ‘Improving Stakeholder Satisfaction’.

According to Akande, the essence of conducting the forum across the country’s geo-political zones was to show the Commission’s licensees that responsibility does not end with receiving licenses, but with working closely with the licensing authority to address matters affecting regular operations.

Even past the issuance of licenses to the operators, Akande announced in a statement that the Commission is truly concerned with setting own the necessary regulatory frameworks as well as initiatives that can encourage the smooth execution of licence conditions.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC & CEO) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, when speaking on the centrality of stakeholder engagement to the Commission’s regulatory activities said that the Commission takes feedback from stakeholders’ engagement initiatives as vital to building a robust licensing era in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

The EVC – represented at the forum by the Executive Commissioner of Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu – emphasised the Commission’s commitment to stakeholder engagement as a way to solidify collaboration with licencees, identify concerns and jointly develop and execute practical solutions.

Danbatta stated that the focus of discussion for the stakeholder meetings had been on licensing processes, procedures and policies all working towards improving stakeholder satisfaction. He emphasised the need to gather insights from every geo-political zone in order to encourage mutually beneficial relationships and boost understanding between the Commission and its important stakeholders.

Danbatta stated that notable successes have been recorded due to the Commission’s focus on giving stakeholders top priority. He stated that contributions to the country’s GDP grew to 14.42% in Q2 2021, active internet subscriptions surpassed 140 million, teledensity reached 99.98%, and broadband penetration hit 40.01% as at the end of September 2021.

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MTN Shares Fall by 10% After IPO Pricing




MTN Nigeria (MTNN), Nigeria’s second-biggest listed company saw its shares fall by 10% on Wednesday to see a five-week low after it had set a retail public offer price which was lower than its share price on the stock market.

MTN shares had closed at N190 a unit on Tuesday, but lost N19 to close at N171 per share on Wednesday despite the expected renewed interest in the company following its ongoing share sale.

The South African telecommunications company MTN (MTNJ.J) opened its offer for sale to retail investors at N169 for each share on Wednesday, in order to sell about 575 million shares in MTN Nigeria.

The public offer closes on December 14 and signifies the first stage of a share sale to retail investors where the South African-owned company will look to scale down all its holdings in MTN Nigeria to 65% from its present 87%, over a period of time.

This was said by the Chief Executive Officer of the MTN Group, Ralph Mupita at a roadshow that was held in Abuja.

The Chairman of the MTN Group, Mcebisi Jonas was also in attendance of the show, which was held alongside a state visit made by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The fall in the MTN Nigeria shares moved the main share index (.NGSEINDEX) down by 1.8% to observe its lowest point in three weeks.

Two years ago, MTN listed its Nigerian company in Lagos, and at N90 for a share. This made it the second-largest stock when considering market capitalisation.

In March 2020, shares of MTN Nigeria fell back to the listing price due to lockdowns enacted to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

There have been a few IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) in Nigeria since the global financial crisis of 2008, which was responsible for clearing out over 60% of the stock market’s capitalisation.

MTN’s offer includes a bonus share for every 20 shares bought, with an incentive open for retail investors who hold their shares for at least a year after allotment.


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