Pan-African mobile carrier MTN Group has released its quarterly trading update for the three months ended 30 September 2021, highlighting a 19.1% year-on-year increase in consolidated service revenue. The Johannesburg-based company also noted that EBITDA was up 24.1% y-o-y while its EBITDA margin improved by 2.1 percentage points to 45.0%. In the filing it claimed that its quarterly performance ‘was delivered through solid commercial momentum and the ongoing execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy in challenging COVID-19 macroeconomic and trading conditions’. Further, MTN reported sustained group voice revenue growth of 6.9% and a 34.5% uptick in data revenue fuelled by a 52.6% y-o-y increase in data usage. With demand for work-from-home services continuing to be ‘robust’, MTN added a net 4.1 million active data users, lifting the total to 119.0 million by end-September 2021.
In the three-month period the group added a net 200,000 subscriptions to reach a total of 271.9 million which it said was ‘adversely impacted by the decline in subscribers in MTN Nigeria, which resulted from the revised registration regulations’. Excluding Nigeria, the company said that total subscriptions ‘were up by 1.6 million’ and noted that as Nigeria’s SIM registration scheme unrolls it expects ‘positive net additions to resume during Q4 2021’.
Commenting on the performance, Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita said: “The MTN Group recorded a solid Q3 2021 trading performance, tracking positively against our medium-term targets with double-digit service revenue growth and the expansion of EBITDA margins. This was delivered through solid commercial momentum and the ongoing execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy in challenging COVID-19 macroeconomic and trading conditions. Material progress was made in executing on our asset realisation programme (ARP), ensuring the faster deleveraging of the Group holding company (Holdco) balance sheet. The structural separations of the fintech and fibre assets remain on track.’