MTN’s growing customer base supports Q3 revenue growth


Africa’s largest mobile network operator MTN Group continues to cement its dominance in the telecoms arena, reporting 6.8% growth in total group subscribers to 284.9 million for the first nine months of 2022, supporting the group’s strong service revenue growth trends across its major operating regions.

The Johannesburg-based mobile operator says its overall service revenue for the third quarter ended September 2022 grew by 14.3%, while group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased by 14.7% in the period.

The group’s South Africa operations – its second-largest contributor to group service revenue after MTN Nigeria – led the growth in subscribers, reportedly attracting over 800 000 (or 8.1%) more customers in the country, bringing the total local customer base to 35.9 million.

The South African operations further reported a 3.5% rise in service revenue growth, supported by a resilient consumer postpaid business which delivered 4.2% growth. 

“Amid unprecedented load shedding, which negatively affected network availability, MTN South Africa expanded market share, delivered encouraging underlying service revenue growth, strong expense controls and investment in network resilience and expanding the 5G coverage,” group president and CEO Ralph Mupita said.

“Supported by an increase in smartphone penetration, MTN SA continued to make data more affordable: the effective data tariff reduced by 23.4% year on year (YoY). This helped stimulate usage for both prepaid and postpaid subscribers. Work on network resilience and availability progressed well, but persistent load shedding in the last quarter of the year could impact revenue growth, particularly in the consumer prepaid market,” he added.

Despite having to navigate a change in Nigeria’s SIM regulation rules, MTN Nigeria reported 20.7% growth in service revenue.

Group voice revenue improved by 2.7%, while data revenue increased by a strong 33.2%, underpinned by a 14.9% YoY increase in active data users and a strong growth in data traffic of 39.7%.

To support the high demand for data, MTN deployed R23.8 billion in Capex in the period to sustain its networks and technology platforms, further prioritising its coverage capacity for the 4G networks and the rollout of 5G sites. 

Fintech revenue for the group came in 12.9% stronger YoY, led by 23.3% YoY growth in Mobile Money (MoMo) active monthly users to 63 million, as well as volumes of processed transactions through the platform, growing by 32.7% to 9.5 billion.

“We are encouraged by the overall strength of our fintech ecosystem, with solid momentum in the underlying KPIs across our e-commerce & payments, banktech, remittances and joint venture (JV) insurtech verticals, as well as the build out of agents, merchants and MoMo app adoption by our subscribers,” the group said.

Mupita added that it saw robust transaction volumes driven by growth in customers, agents and merchants.

“In the near term, revenue growth has been impacted by new taxes in a few markets, but we continue to see the case for structural and compelling growth for fintech services in the medium term that will deepen financial inclusion across Africa,” he said.