Pan-African mobile network operator MTN has released its annual financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022, showing strong growth in the number of subscribers and its mobile money unit.
MTN’s total subscribers rose 6% to 289 million, with data subscribers growing by more than 12% to 137 million and Mobile Money users up by 21% to 69 million. The company also reported a 15.3% increase in service revenue to R194 billion while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 14.3% to R90 billion.
Mobile Money transaction volume was up 34% year-on-year to 13.4 billion while the value of the transactions was up 16% (using constant currency) to $221 billion. The number of agents increased by 30% to 1.3 million and merchants by 86% to 1.5 million.
“The structurally higher demand for data and fintech services was sustained, with data traffic and fintech transaction volumes increasing by around a third each,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita.
“To support this, we invested more than R38 billion in our network, IT and platform infrastructure – an increase of 17%, while at the same time reducing consumers’ average cost to communicate by nearly 23%.”
In South Africa, the company’s performance was solid with growth in service revenue of 3.6% to almost R41 billion and an EBITDA margin of 39.2%. Loadshedding impacted EBITDA by R695 million as the company incurred additional expenditure to meet the requirements of power, security and repairs, the latter due to the vandalism of sites.
“With the state of disaster regulations gazetted, South Africa now has a unique opportunity to accelerate efforts to secure the resilience of critical national infrastructure such as telecommunications. Government and business must jointly seize this moment and act decisively to deal with the quadruple crises of energy; logistics; crime and corruption; and youth unemployment. Inaction risks South Africa being a failed nation-state (sic),” added Mupita.