MTN, a telecommunications company, said on April 30 that more than 35 million of its customers had sent their National Identity Numbers (NINs), which were then sent to the National Identity Management Commission for verification.
MTN claims that the 35 million subscribers account for about half of its total user base and 63% of service revenue.
With 182 points of enrolment active throughout the world, the company said it was also supporting the Federal Government’s NIN enrolment program.
However, due to customer churn and regulatory limits on new SIM purchases and activations, the telecommunications company said it lost around five million subscribers.
MTN said its profit before tax (PBT) increased by 33.9 percent to N102.9 billion, while earnings per share increased by 42.5 percent to N3.60 kobo, according to its unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, published yesterday.
The number of active data users fell by 71,000 to 32.5 million, while service revenue rose by 17.2% to N385.2 billion. Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) increased by 19.1% to N204.5 billion.
MTN’s EBITDA margin improved by 0.9 percentage points (pp) to 53.1 percent during the period under review, while capital expenditure increased by 19.3% to N89.9 billion (up 27.8% to N31.6 billion, excluding right of use (RoU) assets).
Unless otherwise reported, financial data is year-over-year, according to the company (YoY, Q1 2021 versus Q1 2020). Non-financial data is updated quarterly (QoQ, March 2021 versus December 2020).
MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, said: “Given the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made strong progress in the first quarter of 2021.” We will continue to prioritize the protections in place to protect our staff, customers, and stakeholders’ health and well-being, as well as to monitor the spread of the virus while maintaining network resilience and performance.
“As part of our Y’ello Hope initiatives, we continue to support government’s efforts in combatting 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.’’
MTN service revenue increased 17.2% YoY in Q1, in line with our medium-term goal, thanks to growth of 42.6 percent and 8.0 percent in data and voice revenue, respectively, according to Toriola.
Despite the pandemic’s impact and a drop in subscriber base due to user turnover and limits on new SIM purchases and activations resulting from improvements in SIM registration regulations, he claims that this was accomplished.
He stated that the company continued to work with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIMC) to update subscriber records with NIN.
“However, we reported an 86.7 percent increase in data traffic and a 48.5 percent increase in utilization (MB per user) from the current base,” the company said, citing the reduction in the total subscriber base in Q1. The completion and activation of an additional 800MHz spectrum aided the improvement in data services, allowing us to increase traffic by 10% and increase throughput by 79%.
“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.”