MTN on recovery road as data, digital services boost revenue growth

Johannesburg - Network service provider MTN [JSE:MTN] has shown improved financial results spurred by data revenue growth despite “turbulence”, according to group president and CEO Rob Shuter. 

Group revenue rose by 6.7% to R64 315m, with group service revenue up by 7.5% to R60 003m. Data revenue boosted results with a 31.9% increase to R13 952m, according to the consolidated financial results for the six months to end-June 2017.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased by 3.1% to R21 179m and headline earnings per share stood at 217 cents. 

MTN’s active Mobile Money customers also contributed to positive results, with an increase of 2.7 million to 17.9 million customers.                               

Shuter said: “We are seeing pleasing progress in our key growth drivers of data and digital services against headwinds of challenging macro-economic conditions and foreign exchange currency pressures.

“We continue to strengthen our focus on operational excellence with our six strategic pillars integrated in our new BRIGHT strategy,” he added.

Shuter said MTN’s BRIGHT strategy is aimed at boosting employees' morale in an effort to provide a better experience for customers.  

MTN is still in the recovery process after being slapped with a R1.7bn fine by the Nigerian government for failing to disconnect over 5 million unregistered SIM cards in the country in 2016. 

In March MTN said that 2016 had been its “most challenging” year ever as it reported its first annual loss in 20 years, with a headline loss of R1.4bn, or 77 cents per share, for its financial year to end-December 2016.

This compared with headline earnings of R13.6bn, or 746c a share, during the same period the year before.

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