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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN) announces its audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2021 and declared a turnover of N1.7 trillion for full-year 2021, a milestone that analysts believe will consolidate its position as Nigeria’s biggest listed company by revenue.

The MTN Group said it attained the new height after the number of its active data users surged by 1.7 million to 34.3 million, helping income from data sales increase by 55.3 to N516 billion.

According to its audited financial results, “the board has proposed a final dividend of N8.57 kobo per share to be paid out of distributable net income. This brings the total dividend for the year to N13.12 kobo per share, representing an increase of 39.6%.”

For the year under review, profit before tax stood at N436.7 billion, up by 46.1% from the preceding year’s figure, while profit after tax accelerated 45.5 per cent to N298.7 billion, just as earnings per share printed N14.67 as against N10.08 recorded in the corresponding period of last year.

“During the year, our total contribution to the Government through direct and indirect taxes was N669.2 billion, up 83.4 per cent, representing approximately 40% of our total revenue,” said the chief executive officer, Mr Karl Toriola.

Operational review

Service revenue grew by 23.3% despite the 10.6% decline in the subscriber base. Data continued to lead service revenue growth, supported by voice, fintech and digital service.

Voice revenue grew by 8.4% due to higher usage in the active SIM base, resulting in a 7.9% growth in minutes of use. This was supported by the success of customer value management (CVM) initiatives, reducing the impact of SIM registration and activation restrictions in H1 and network restrictions in some locations towards the end of 2021. In addition, the company continued to ramp up gross connections through rural telephony initiatives while expanding customer acquisition points, further supporting growth in voice revenue.

Data revenue rose by 55.3%, maintaining an accelerated growth trajectory in Q4 as it continued to accelerate the expansion of 4G coverage, enhance the quality and capacity of our network to support increasing data traffic, and grow active data users. Average MB per user rose by 62.7%, enabling overall data traffic growth of 85.3%. Also, smartphone penetration on the network grew by 4.0pp to 50%. 4G network now covers 70.3% of the population, up from 60.1% in December 2020.

Fintech revenue rose by 57.3% due to sustained growth in the use of our Xtratime product and broader fintech services by customers. MTN Nigeria expanded its MoMo agent network, through its one distribution strategy, with the addition of over 374k registered agents bringing the total number to approximately 770k, up 94.8%. As a result, transaction volume rose by 167.0% to 137.5 million from an active user base of 9.4 million, up 102.0%. Additionally, the Approval in Principle recently obtained in relation to the MoMo PSB licence application is an important step towards final approval, which will allow the company to expand its service offerings and scale its fintech business, thereby achieving more meaningful financial inclusion in the country.

Digital adoption continues to accelerate as customers use more digital products and services, a trend accelerated by COVID-19. As a result, digital revenue grew by 61.2% as the active user base grew and penetration of our digital products deepened. The active user base rose by 162.1% to 7.5 million, led by Ayoba – MTN’s instant messaging platform – with approximately 3.8 million active users, up 172.9%.

Enterprise business performance was underpinned by the onboarding of new customers across key segments and the uptake of enhanced services. As a result, service revenue from enterprise business was up by 12%.

Through the first two weeks of December 2021, MTN Nigeria made a public offering to sell 575 million ordinary shares to Nigerians at the price of N169 per share, in what was referred to as another first for the company in the Nigerian market.

Outlook

As part of MTN Nigeria’s rural connectivity programme, the company plans to connect approximately 2,000 new communities in 2022. In addition, it expects more investments in network and information technology infrastructure and developing the range of additional services it can offer customers to drive digital and financial inclusion.

Medium-term Guidance

In line with the accelerated growth seen, MTN Nigeria expects service revenue growth of “at least 20%” over the medium term. In delivering on the service revenue growth guidance, it will continue to focus on capex efficiencies, margin expansion, operating cashflow growth and improving returns to shareholders.

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