MTN’s “massive” market share loss to Cell C, Telkom Mobile

MTN continued to lose market share to the country’s two smaller operators in Cell C and Telkom, according to JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms.

On Wednesday (20 August 2014) the firm provided a breakdown of its prepaid airtime distribution for the country’s major operators, revealing further losses by Africa’s biggest mobile operator.

MTN has seen its market share wilt a further 3% over the past six months, from 32% in 2013, to 29% for the period ended May 2014.

Joint CEO at Blue Label, Brett Levy pointed to a “massive” drop in MTN, “that’s not coming off a small number, it’s coming off a large number”.

Vodacom remained stable at 50%, while Cell C was up to 19%, from 17% before, and from 8% a year ago.

Telkom has grown by 100%, to 2%, off a low base. “Whatever Telkom is doing, its better than what they did 12 months ago,” Brett Levy said.

“Cell C are fighting on the street, they are becoming a consumer champion. The next 12 months will be very interesting, a lot of work for MTN to do,” he said.

South African mobile market share
South African mobile market share

Earlier in August, MTN said that market share declined by 2.7 percentage points to 31.9% in SA as competition intensified in the pre-paid segment.

During the first quarter of 2014, the operation’s subscriber base contracted by 825,000
subscribers and during the second quarter added 394,000 to reach 25.3 million subscribers at period-end.

Cell C meanwhile, recently reported that it has grown its subscriber base by an additional 1.5 million in the past three months to 18.1 million at 30 June 2014.

And in a presentation at an Investor Day in Pretoria, on 4 August, Telkom chief operating officer, Brian Armstrong, said that goals for the group included being the “number 3 player in mobile”.

BMI Subscriber numbers
BMI Subscriber numbers

On Wednesday, Blue Label Telecoms reported an 8% rise in its dividend per share to 27 cents for the period ended May 2014, on the back of a rise in profits.

Revenue improved to R19.4 billion, from R18.98 billion before, while group operating profit was up to R723 million, from R646 million in 2013.

Headline earnings per share was up 6% to 67,98 cents, while the group saw a 10% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) to R788 million.

BLT Revenue Growth by Network_
BLT Revenue Growth by Network

This article was first published on BusinessTech.

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MTN’s “massive” market share loss to Cell C, Telkom Mobile