South Africa-based regional carrier MTN Group reported strong financial and operational results for the year ended 31 December 2021, thanks to what it termed ‘strong strategic execution and sustained commercial momentum across 19 markets’. In the year in which the company introduced its refreshed ‘Ambition 2025’ strategy, MTN reported total revenues of ZAR181.7 billion (USD11.9 billion), up 3.0% year-on-year on a reported basis, as service revenues surged by 18.3% to ZAR171.8 billion; EBITDA increased by 23.7% to ZAR80.8 billion; the EBITDA margin expanded by 2.2pp to 44.5%; and attributable net profit reached ZAR19.9 billion.
‘We adapted to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and started shaping the MTN of the future through the execution of Ambition 2025,’ said group president and CEO Ralph Mupita, adding: ‘The performance was underpinned by pleasing growth in our larger operating companies, operating leverage and the benefits of our expense efficiency programme’. He also pointed out that headline earnings per share adjusted for non-operational items increased by 26.6%; return on equity expanded by 2.6pp to 19.6%, and organic operating cashflow accelerated by 35.2% to ZAR38.3 billion.
In terms of key operating metrics, at the end of December 2021 MTN Group had a total of 272.4 million subscriptions, up a net 2.9 million y-o-y. It noted too that a ‘greater adoption of data and fintech services’ yielded 11.1 million new data users and 10.4 million new Mobile Money users to reach totals of 122.0 million and 56.8 million, respectively. Finally, in order to meet demand for the (53.3%) expansion in data traffic and (41.1%) increase in fintech volumes, the Group continued to invest in the capacity and resilience of its networks and platforms, investing ZAR32.7 billion in the year under review.