MTN Nigeria will increase investments in data revenue after the telecommunication giant saw a slump in its profit after tax for the first nine months of 2023. While the telco’s revenue grew by 21.76% to ₦1.77 trillion in the first nine months of 2023, profits declined by 45.22% to ₦148 billion.
MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl Toriola, said tough operating conditions and a persistent increase in inflation affected consumer spending. Other macroeconomic issues like the removal of the fuel subsidy and a currency devaluation were also mentioned. Nigeria’s 2023 Finance Act also introduced VAT on tower leases effective September 2023.
- MTN added 2 million subscribers in 9M 2023
- Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 53.1% to 3.6 million
- FinTech revenue dwindled by 5.6%
Going forward, Toriola said the telco would expand its quota of 4G and 5G data subscribers. “We plan to roll out capex during Q4 to reach 83% 4G and 10% 5G population coverage by year-end. In addition, we will leverage the additional 2.6GHz spectrum to enhance network capacity. This will help us sustain growth in data traffic and further drive our Own the Home strategy by leveraging the 5G fixed wireless access devices, mobile broadband solutions, and fibre-to-the-home connectivity,” he said in the earnings report.
Toriola said leasing MTN’s 2,500 network sites to American Towers Corp. (ATC) was part of a move to ensure profitability in the light of challenging operating conditions. Even though he admitted an additional 12,000 sites were under the management of IHS Towers, the CEO pledged to explore ways to optimise network costs in line with their “expense efficiency programme aimed at improving operating margins.” Three things are priorities for Toriola, they include the network, MoMo PSB acceleration, and operational efficiency.
The telco’s financial statement also reported that its services revenue grew by 21.4%, driven by voice revenue growth of 10.6% and data revenue growth of 36.4%. The telco added two million mobile subscribers to take its tally in nine months to 77.6 million. Active data users grew by 3.6 million.
Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 53.1% to 3.6 million, powered by 293,000 MoMo agents, and 197,000 merchants in its ecosystem. Report indicates that the MoMo service still requires more adoption. Nonetheless, its digital revenue arm saw a 55.4% increase to ₦24 billion while its fintech revenue dwindled by 5.6%.