MTN has released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2018.
The group stated that service revenue was up 10.7%, and that growth was accelerating.
Looking at MTN South Africa, service revenue was also up – but by a smaller margin: 4.2%. Data revenue was up 12.7% and “digital and fintech revenue” increased by 4.7%.
EBITDA grew by 7.0% to R15.6 billion, while capex decreased by 17.6%, said MTN.
“MTN South Africa reported a steady improvement in service revenue, cash generation, and profitability for the year in line with our guidance on service revenue growth and EBITDA margin improvement,” said MTN.
This was was supported by strong growth in the consumer postpaid business, the wholesale business – thanks to new network roaming agreements – and stability in the enterprise business.
“The growth in customer service revenue was below expectations with the prepaid business being the main drag,” added MTN.
Subscribers and data
An area of strong growth for MTN South Africa was data revenue, and in the postpaid segment this was up over 30% – “well ahead of the market”, said MTN.
“Prepaid service revenue increased by 0.2%, while postpaid service revenue increased by 3.8%: a strong improvement over the first half decline of 2.5%.”
The company’s subscriber base was also up, increasing by 5.7% from December 2017 to 31.2 million.
MTN South Africa added that it received various accolades as the best network service provider in South Africa during the year, and it was embarking on a radio network modernisation programme that will ensure “we remain at the forefront of technological development and future-ready for 5G services”.
“We implemented several changes to our pricing of data packages, and additional changes will be implemented in the coming months as we conclude our pricing transformation. We will launch our Mobile Money offering in the coming months,” it added.
MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said the company delivered a “very encouraging performance” in 2018, and met its targets for growth in service revenue and EBITDA.
“Over the next few years, we see significant opportunity to grow subscribers and voice revenue as we also execute on the large mobile data opportunity. We will also extend our BRIGHT strategy to build MTN into a digital operator with a major focus on the fintech, digital, enterprise, and wholesale business areas,” he said.