MTN has reported good first quarter 2021 results thanks to a strong performance in South Africa and accelerating growth from data and fintech services.
MTN Group’s service revenue grew by 17.8% to R42.3 billion for the quarter. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 21.3% and the EBITDA margin widened to 44.2% from 42.7%.
MTN South Africa recorded good performances across the consumer, enterprise, and wholesale businesses.
MTN SA’s subscribers increased by 95,000 in the quarter to 32.1 million with postpaid subscribers up 79,000 to record a base of 6.8 million.
The prepaid subscriber base closed at 25.3 million, with over 16,000 subscribers added in the quarter.
This subscriber growth was driven by competitive offerings and stabilised churn.
Overall mobile data revenue grew by 18.5% driven by robust data traffic growth, which increased by 76.3%.
This momentum in traffic volumes was supported by the availability of temporary high demand spectrum assigned by ICASA.
During the first quarter of 2021, the effective data tariff reduced by a further 33.0%.
An active prepaid data subscriber now consumes approximately 2GB of data, on average, with the active postpaid data subscriber using nearly 10GB of data per month.
MTN SA’s enterprise business recorded double-digit growth with service revenue up 17.3% on the back of demand for work- and learn-from-home services.
Wholesale revenue increased by 103%. This was driven by the Cell C national roaming agreement, which was substantially lower in Q1 2020, the transition plan, and timely cash payments by Cell C in the current year.
Wholesale revenue growth is expected to abate for the remainder of the year due to the base effects of the recovery in national roaming revenue from Q2 2020 onwards.
MTN SA grew service revenue by 7.6% while R350 million of Cell C national roaming revenue remained unrecognised as at 31 March 2021.
Since its launch in South Africa in January 2020, MoMo has performed well, with approximately 3.1 million registered users at 31 March 2021.
MTN has retained and strengthened the leading position as Best Network in the country and in each major metropolitan area – Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban – per the MyBroadband network quality survey.