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MTN Nigeria loses 7.6m subscribers to regulatory directive

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) mobile subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new subscriber identity module (SIM) sales and activations, according to its unaudited results for the half-year ended 30 June 2021 report released yesterday.

Its active data users declined by approximately 52,000 to 32.5 million while its service revenue went up by 24.1 per cent to N790.3 billion.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortiSation (EBITDA) grew by 27.6per cent to N417.2 billion, EBITDA margin improved by 1.4 percentage points (pp) to 52.7per cent; capital expenditure was up by 39.1per cent to N186.4 billion (up 50.6per cent to N114.5 billion excluding the right of use [RoU] assets). Its dividend per share of N4.55 kobo, was up 30per cents too.

Commenting on the result, its CEO, Karl Toriola said: “In the first half of 2021, we made good progress strengthening the resilience of the business, managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and enhancing support to our people, customers and other stakeholders. We extended our commitment to the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) with an additional N3 billion contribution over a two-year period, half of which has already been paid. This is in support of efforts to promote the health and security of Nigerians, as we navigate our way through the pandemic; and in line with our Y’ello Hope initiatives through which we provided support to our broad base of stakeholders to the value of approximately N25 billion in 2020.

“Our progress towards achieving greater business resilience is reflected in the upgrade by Global Credit Ratings (GCR) of our national scale long-term issuer rating to AAA and affirmation of our national scale short-term rating of A1+ with a stable outlook. This puts MTN Nigeria on the highest possible GCR scale for short-term and long-term ratings, providing a solid platform for growth.

“2021 marks the 20th anniversary of MTN’s presence in Nigeria. As we celebrate this milestone, we are pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has approved our participation in the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit (RITC) Scheme. This is in response to the Government’s drive towards public-private partnerships in the rehabilitation of critical road infrastructure in Nigeria. We intend to participate in the restoration and refurbishment of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway. Conversations in this regard have already commenced, and further announcements will be made in due course.”

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