MTN SA results – the big story is data

MTN released its 2013 financial results today, which showed a 12% rise in group revenue to R137 billion for the year ended December 2013. However, its South African operation saw an earnings decline of 6.1%.

MTN South Africa also reported a decline in interconnect revenue of 24.9%, and an EBITDA margin decline of 0.3%.

The best news for MTN SA was data. Data revenue, including MTN Business, increased by 20.2% to R8 822 million and contributed 22.2% to total revenue.

“This was a positive result despite lower data pricing. Increased 3G coverage, improved smartphone adoption and competitive data bundles were the main contributors to this growth,” MTN SA said.

The number of smartphones on MTN’s network increased by 32.6% to 7.3 million, and the number of data users increased by 6.4% to 14.3 million.

MTN SA highlighted that it’s capex for the period amounted to R5 835 million, which mainly related to improving quality and capacity on 2G and 3G networks.

“During the year, we added 516 new 2G sites and 1 133 co-located 3G sites. The 3G population coverage improved sharply and is now 75.8%,” MTN said.

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MTN SA results – the big story is data