MTN Nigeria recently announced another ground-breaking full-year turnover in the financial year of 2020, the highest ever recorded by a Nigerian listed entity.
Specifically, the telecom giant’s revenue expanded by 15.1% year-to-year to N1.3 trillion in the review period. The strong revenue growth was basically due to its data-led segment as sales from the segment expanded by an impressive 51.5% Year to Year.
- Voice sales rose relatively by 5.6% year to year as the global switch to data-enabled communication subsisted.
- MTN Nigeria Plc also announced a N5.90/share final dividend on impressive growth in its free Cash Flow for the financial year of 2020.
- Notably, MTNN’s 4G network now covers 60.1% of the population compared to 43.8% in 2019.
- According to MTN Nigeria, the suspension of new SIM registration enforced in mid-December did not have a material effect on the voice segment, which managed a 10.6% YoY revenue growth in Q4’20 (vs 7.0% YoY in Q3’20).
In contrast, data revenue growth notably moderated to 37.5% YoY in Q4’20 compared to 55.5% YoY in Q3’20.
In a research report released by CardinalStone, the most valuable telecom company’s margin was adversely affected by currency devaluation;
“Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.
“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” the report stated.
The company’s margin was also negatively affected by the higher cost of borrowing and the ultra-low rates prevailing at Nigeria’s debt market;
“Net finance cost increased by 25.4% YoY on the impact of higher borrowings and lower interest on investment in government securities.
“Borrowings rose by over 26.3% to N521.2 billion in FY’20, after the company notably issued its N100 billion Commercial paper in June 2020. The effect of higher borrowings combined with a tax increase (a consequence of lower investment allowance and exempt income) to keep after-tax profit growth subdued at 0.9% YoY.”
That being said, in spite of its impressive growth in revenue the Stock was trailing by 3.28% trading at N174 per share.