MTN Nigeria raises group subscription base by 1.8% in Q1

mtnTHE growth profile from its Nigerian arm has increased MTN Group’s subscription base by 1.8 per cent in quarter one, 2015.

A report, at the weekend, from the Group’s head quarter in South Africa, showed that the telecommunications firm now has 227.5 million subscribers, a 1.8 per cent growth in the three months to March 31, across its 22 operations in Africa and Middle East, with a much bigger jump in data revenue, from about 210 million recorded in 2014.

The Group said MTN South Africa recorded “muted” subscriber growth, ending the quarter with 28 million subscribers, the same rounded figure as the previous quarter.

The report noted that the post-paid and pre-paid subscriber base in South Afrca declined marginally recording 5.4 million and 22.6 million subscribers respectively.

According to the the report, this was because of seasonal effects, some short-term challenges in the distribution channel, and lower handset sales.

Despite this, the operation remained competitive, increasing total minutes by more than 100 percent year on year. Total minutes declined 6.1 per cent quarter on quarter, impacted by seasonality.

MTN South Africa said it would continue to focus on cost containment initiatives and optimising its operating model.

MTN Nigeria increased its subscriber base by 2.1 percent to 61.1 million and maintained subscriber market share during the quarter.

The report disclosed that data revenue increased by 17.0 per cent year on year and now contributes 19.7 percent to total revenue.

MTN Irancell, MTN Ghana, MTN Cameroon, MTN Uganda and MTN Cote d’Ivoire all saw growth in subscriber numbers and a jump in data revenue.

The only other countries to see a drop in subscribers, aside from South Africa, were MTN Sudan and MTN Syria.

Looking at the group’s Mobile Money platform, registered subscribers to the service across the group were up 23.2 percent to 27.4 million users across fourteen operations.

According to the Group’s Chief Executive, Sifiso Dabengwa, stressed that the telecommunications firm’s consolidated subscriber base rose at its slowest rate for a year – increasing by 1.8 per cent (4.1 million) quarter-on-quarter to reach 227.5 million at end-March 2015 – impacted by a ‘weaker macro-economic environment following the reduction in the price of oil in 2014 and continued price competition.

The group said the growth rate was the slowest seen since it recorded a 1.1 per cent net subscriber gain in the first three months of last year, although more positively the operator reported a 23.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise in registered mobile money subscribers across 14 markets, to 27.4 million.

Africa’s largest wireless operator also said that reported data revenue increased by 16.7 per cent year-on-year, contributing 20.8 per cent to total group revenue; organic data revenues increased 24 per cent year-on-year.

The Group’s MTN Nigeria subsidiary showed ‘improved subscriber growth trends although revenue and minutes growth remains a challenge,’ increasing its total user base by 2.1 per cent to 61.1 million on the back of new promotional deals, although call volumes fell due to rising inflation in the Nigerian economy and a subsequent fall in customer spending.

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