Malawi’s largest mobile phone operator, Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) remains optimistic that despite the challenges posed by two years of COVID-19, a volatile exchange rate and a shortage foreign exchange, its business model will deliver more positive results.
According to the company, its customer base has increased by 26% to 4.5 million over the last six months of this year, a recovery from the negative growth experienced in 2019 and higher than the 2% growth recorded in 2020.
The company also said its net profit grew by 19% in the first half of 2021.
It said the growth of 2021 has been propelled by solid revenue growth from its mobile money business Mpamba growing by 54% to over MK5-billion while that of data (internet) grew by 14% to MK15.6-billion.
According to the company, the two business segments helped TNM total revenue to grow by 8% from MK42.2-billion in 2020 to MK45.5-billion in 2021 during the same period of review.
The company said, “TNM anticipates the data business segment to continue growing and will increase investment to support distribution systems and network expansion. TNM’s capital expenditure on distribution and network infrastructure has increased from MK11.7-billion in 2020 to MK14.8-billion in 2021 during the same period.
Board chairman George Partridge said the results shows a business on its recovery path.
In February this year, the Reserve Bank of Malawi reported increased uptake of digital financial services (DFS) which it attributed to COVID-19 related restrictions and an increase in the number of mobile money agents supported by mobile phone operators.
According to the bank’s National Payment Systems report for the fourth quarter of 2020, the adoption of DFS has been accelerated by restrictions on physical transactions and logistics including business hours.
The total number of registered mobile money subscribers in the country stands at over 7.6 million, according to the Reserve Bank of Malawi.