Mr Ralph Mupita, the MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement, said to meet the increase in data and digital usage, MTN had focused its investment on network capacity and resilience and modernising its IT systems, spending R16 billion ($982,559.55) in the year till the end of the third quarter.
The Group, on Friday announced a set of financial results for the third quarter, supported by the performance of its larger operations in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.
The results showed good group-wide growth in subscriber numbers despite challenging trading conditions, which took a toll on people everywhere.
Mr Mupita said service revenue grew by 11.4 per cent to more than R43 billion ($2.6 million).
He said Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 13.9 per cent and the Group EBITDA margin widened by 1.4 percentage points to 43.3 per cent, in line with medium-term targets.
“We recorded solid growth invoice revenue of 3.9 per cent, which reflects an encouraging recovery supported by the easing of lockdown restrictions,” he added.
The Group CEO said “Data revenue grew by 31.9 per cent, bolstered by increased demand for work-from-home services, digital entertainment as well as online education offerings.”
The Group also reported growth of 21.0 per cent in fintech revenue and 37.5 per cent in digital revenue, driven by the increased adoption and usage of digital offerings.
In the third quarter, MTN added 12 million subscribers to reach a total of 273 million across 21 markets, as well as adding 5.3 million active data users to 107 million.
He said to enable greater financial inclusion “We reached a significant milestone by surpassing the 40 million MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) user mark, an addition of 3.5 million in the quarter to 41.8 million at end-September.”
“Apart from greater adoption brought on by COVID-19, more people used MoMo because of enhancements to the functionality of the MoMo app, the large increase in registered MoMo agents, as well as the integration of MoMo into our instant messaging platform Ayoba in some of our markets,” Mr Mupita added.
MTN South Africa performed particularly well, sustaining its turnaround, with acceleration in its core consumer and enterprise business units.
MTN Nigeria recorded a solid result with some recovery in revenue growth, under difficult operating conditions, and MTN Ghana delivered another good performance.
As part of its asset realisation programme, MTN Group completed its exit from its 18.9 per cent investment in e-commerce venture Jumia and the localisation of an eight per cent shareholding in MTN Zambia, realising net proceeds of approximately R2.3 billion ($141.459.16) and R204 million ($12.5 million) respectively.
Mr Mupita said the Group remained focused on managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its staff, customers, networks, the balance sheet and its liquidity profile.
He said through its Y’ello Hope initiative, the Group would continue to support stakeholders, hard hit by the pandemic and despite the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, the operating environment remained challenging and uncertain.
“We will continue to build on our operational and financial resilience.We have now increased our full year forecast for capital expenditure to R26 billion ($1.5 million) to ensure that our networks provide reliable connectivity and digital services to all 273 million-and-growing subscriber base,” Mr Mupita said.