BEVERLY HILLS, March 02, (THEWILL) – Despite the disruption caused to businesses across the globe by the coronavirus pandemic, MTN Nigeria has announced a 14.7 per cent increase in its service revenue to the tune of ₦1.3 trillion in 2020.
According to the financial statements of the firm released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the sum of N1.3 trillion was generated in 2020, higher than the N1.2 trillion achieved in 2019.
In the audited results for the financial year ended December 31, 2020, MTN said that the growth was attributed to the surge in both voice and data service.
The telecommunications firm said data revenue maintained the positive momentum from Q2, prompted by the COVID-19 lockdowns, rising by 51.2 per cent.
The performance in data, according to MTN, was led by a combination of increased subscribers, usage (MB per user) and ultimately traffic, supported by increased network capacity and 4G penetration.
The report disclosed that data traffic rose by 126.5 per cent and average usage by 64.0 per cent. The firm said it added approximately 8.2 million new smartphones to the network, bringing smartphone penetration to 45.9 per cent of its base, up from 41.9 per cent in 2019.
According to it, mobile subscribers increased by 12.2 million to 76.5 million, while active data users increased by 7.4 million to 32.6 million..
However, the direct network operating costs increased to N310.3 billion from N246.6 billion as a result of a rise in BTS leases to N225.6 billion from N170.1 billion, a jump in the regulatory fees to N34.8 billion from N30.3 billion and a rise in the network maintenance to N48.6 billion from N45.2 billion.
In 2020, the telco reduced its roaming costs to N3.0 billion from N4.0 billion. It also cut is advertisements, sponsorships and sales promotions to N15.1 billion from N19.9 billion, while the other operating expenses moved higher to N66.6 billion from N51.0 billion due to the N2.0 billion expended on COVID-19, including the N1 billion donation to the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) in April 2020 and costs of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
As of December 31, 2020, MTN Nigeria was left with an operating profit of N426.7 billion, higher than N393.2 billion a year earlier.
With a finance income of N15.9 billion versus N20.1 billion and N143.7 billion finance costs in contrast to N122.1 billion a year earlier, the GSM network provider was left with a profit before tax of N298.9 billion compared with N291.3 billion in 2019, while the profit after tax stood at N205.2 billion, slightly higher than N203.3 billion as at December 31, 2019, with the earnings per share closing at N10.08 as against N9.99 in 2019.
MTN explained that its Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 9.7 per cent to N685.7 billion, while
EBITDA margin declined by 2.5 percentage points (pp) to 50.9 per cent Profit Before Tax (PBT) grew by 2.6 per cent to N298.9 billion
According to it, Earnings Per Share (EPS) rose by 0.9 pet cent to N10.1 proposed a final dividend of N5.90 kobo per share.
Outgoing MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman comments: “2020 was a challenging year for all. The unprecedented disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the businesses and people we serve, challenged us in new and demanding ways. The impact continues to evolve. Adoption of our data and digital services accelerated as lockdowns and gathering restrictions were imposed, and work-from-home became the norm for many.”