MTN Group has released its first quarter update for the period ended 31 March 2019, meeting its medium-term revenue growth target by delivering 10% year-on-year growth led by strong operational performance in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.
Commenting on the update, MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said: “We are encouraged by the operational progress we continue to see across the business, supported by the network roll-out we achieved and enhancements to the propositions that we offer to our customers. In South Africa, we implemented changed pricing for pre-paid propositions where we reduced, materially the out-of-bundle tariffs, making data services much more affordable.”
Shuter added that the company takes note of the provisional report from the Competition Commission of Inquiry into data services and will respond by 14 June 2019. MTN remains of the view that the release of high demand spectrum in South Africa is critical to providing affordable and ubiquitous data services for the citizens of the country.
As part of broadening the fintech business, MTN also launched Africa’s first instant messaging platform ‘Ayoba’ in Ivory Coast and Cameroon with further expansion into other markets and the integration of payments planned in the second half of the year.
Commenting on the regional performance, Group CFO Ralph Mupita said: “We are pleased by the service revenue development, despite challenges in some markets. The growth in service revenue was supported by the continued expansion in voice, data and fintech revenue which increased 5,9%, 18,3% and 30,6% respectively. Our asset realisation programme remains on track, and we anticipate that the Mascom transaction will close by end of June 2019, subject to regulatory approvals. Good progress has also been made on repayment of the ATC Ghana shareholder loan to MTN Group.”
Early in the second quarter, MTN’s e-commerce joint venture Jumia Technologies AG successfully raised fresh capital to list on the New York Stock Exchange. MTN’s shareholding reduced to 18.9% in the IPO, and as at 6 May 2019, the value of its shareholding in Jumia was approximately $560m. The company completed the conversion of MTN Nigeria to a public company ahead of the listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange anticipated for May 2019.
On Tuesday, 07 May the Federal High Court delivered its ruling, rejecting the Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by the AGF in response to MTN Nigeria’s lawsuit. The substantive case is now scheduled to be heard on June 26.
Looking ahead, the company remains committed to achieving its medium-term targets through delivering against all elements of its BRIGHT strategy.