Mobile telecommunication giant, MTN posted revenue of N1.2 trillion for the first 9 months of 2021 up 23.6% when compared to the N975.7 billion posted a year earlier. This is the first time MTN is crossing the one trillion-naira mark in 9 months.
The information is contained in its recent interim results for the quarter ended September 2021, published on the website of the Nigerian Exchange. The telecom giant continues with strong earnings recorded in the 1st and 2nd quarter of this year where it posted N385.3 billion and N405.9 billion respectively.
To put this into context, MTN’s revenue of N1.2 trillion (January to September) is more than FG Oil’s revenue of N754.2 million for the first 8 months of 2021 when annualized. MTN now makes about N133 billion in revenues monthly while the government made N94.2 billion in oil revenues monthly. However, the FG makes N143.7 billion from non-oil revenues.
Best Quarter Ever
In the quarter under review (July- September 2021) revenues printed a whopping N414.9 billion, up 22.9% from the N337.6 billion reported same period last year. This is the highest quarterly revenue posted by MTN Nigerian on record, according to data from Nairalytics.
Voice revenue added N234.3 billion to its revenues for the quarter compared to N221.8 billion a year earlier. MTN explained the reason was due to “continued growth (9.6%) in minutes of use by subscribers and the success of customer value management (CVM) initiatives, offsetting the impact of the decline in our subscriber base. In addition, following the resumption of SIM sales and activations in April 2021, we continue to ramp up the number of locations certified for customer acquisition to accelerate gross connections, further supporting growth in voice revenue.”
MTN CEO, Karl Toriola explained that despite the robust voice revenue numbers, they faced challenges in some parts of the country where the government requested that they restrict service for security reasons.
“Towards the end of the quarter, our network was restricted in some locations, in line with the directives of relevant authorities and in compliance with our licence conditions, to address security issues in those areas. This has slightly affected some of our business activities.”
Data revenue, one of the major growth drivers for MTN, rose 57.3% (year on year) to N137.6 billion in the third quarter alone. The company explained the growth was due to its aggressive “expansion of 4G coverage and enhance the capacity of our network to support increasing data traffic.” The company’s average megabyte per user rose 58.2% while smartphone penetration on the network grew by 3.5pp to 48.7%. MTN also reveals its 4G network now covers about 69.2% of the population up from 60.1% last year.
Another surprising revenue growth driver was MTN’s FinTech business which saw revenues rise 68.7% in the quarter to N18.59 billion. MTN’s FinTech business includes its mobile money agent network. According to MTN, its Mobile Money network (MoMo) expanded to 234k registered agents in 9 months taking its total to 630k. This bolstered transaction volume by 3 folds to 93.3 million led by a 97.2% increase in subscriber growth to 6.6 million.
Digital, another growing business segment for MTN also recorded double-digit growth of 46.1% during the quarter rising to N4.18 billion compared to N2.86 billion a year earlier. MTN defines its digital revenue as any Value Added Service that involves the application in transacting (i.e. application to person SMS, person to application SMS, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Interactive Voice Response (IVR). These services include rich media, insurance, and e-commerce services.
MTN claims a major boost during the quarter was a rise in its active user base for digital revenue growing by a whopping 295.6% to 5.8 million. Its Ayoba instant messaging platform currently has 2.9 million users, the company disclosed.
In terms of Capex, MTN spent N74.6 billion on Capex during the quarter up 24% year on year. MTN has spent N261 billion on Capex in the first 9 months of this year representing a 34.4% growth year on year.
Profit after tax for the quarter is N78.48 billion up 59% when compared to the N49.3 billion reported same period in 2020. MTN also has 67.5 million mobile subscribers down from 75 million same period last year. It attributed the drop to the SIM Card registration policy of the government which has hampered growth across the sector. Data subscribers however grew 8.1% to N33.2 million compared to 30.7 million same period last year.