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MTN Adds 10.6 million new subscribers amid COVID-19

MTN has added more new subscribers in the last six months as more people signed up for its mobile and data services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Africa and the Middle East biggest mobile phone company announced its subscribers increased by 10,6 million to 261,5 million for the six months ended 30 June 2020.

The operators also reached a significant milestone in surpassing the 100 million
mark of active data users. By end June 2020, MTN had 102 million active data users.

It also recorded 38,3 million Mobile Money (MoMo) users and in Nigeria added 114 000 agents to reach 222 000 registered agents. Following the peak impact of COVID-19 effects in April 2020, the company said it encouraged by the sequential recovery it has observed in key voice, data and fintech trends as restrictions have been gradually eased.

MTN reported service revenue growth of 9,4% to R80 billion and EBITDA growth of 10,9% to R42 billion as efficiency initiatives saw its profit margins continue to improve. Headline earnings per share after non-operational impacts grew by 54%, operating free cash flow increased by 117,8% and ROE improved further to 14,1%.

“MTN’s first half performance affirmed the resilience of our people and business model as we delivered strong results against the backdrop of unprecedented socio- and macroeconomic uncertainty and challenges,” said MTN Group president and chief executive officer Rob Shuter.

Rob Shuter, MTN CEO
Rob Shuter, MTN CEO

Despite lockdown restrictions impacting network rollout, MTN invested R10 billion in capital expenditure across our markets and brought a further 54 million people into 3G and 4G coverage. The focus on affordability of data saw the average rate per megabyte reduced by 34%.

The group made progress on the asset realisation programme, concluding the disposal of the tower company investments in Ghana and Uganda for R8,8 billion.

MTN did not declare an interim dividend given the continued uncertain impact of COVID-19 on the operating environment but will consider a final dividend should conditions warrant.

“While we expect the remainder of the year to be shaped by the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, we believe that MTN will remain comparatively resilient and is poised to sustain its growth over the medium term,” said Shuter.

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