Strong financial performance for 2022 has been declared by MTN Group. In the report, the Group showed that, “despite a challenging macroeconomic context of rising inflation across our 19 markets,” it had increased its return on equity significantly to 23.4% and increased its dividend by 10% to 330 cents per share.
According to the report on the Group’s website, total subscribers increased by 6% to 289 million in the year to December 31, 2022, with data subscribers increasing by more than 12% to 137 million and Mobile Money users increasing by 21% to 69 million.
The Group reported a 15.3% increase in service revenue to R194 billion (N4.8 trillion naira) in constant currency terms, demonstrating strong operational execution and ongoing strategic delivery. The Group also maintained a steady margin on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 44%.
To R90 billion, EBITDA climbed by 14.3%. (about 2.2 trillion naira). It was supported by the Group’s drive to reduce expenses, which produced savings of R2.7 billion, mostly in South Africa and Nigeria.
Data traffic and fintech transaction volumes increased by around a third each, demonstrating the persistence of the fundamentally stronger demand for data and fintech services, according to Ralph Mupita, president and chief executive officer of MTN Group. “To support this, we invested more than R38 billion — an increase of 17% — in our network, IT, and platform infrastructure, while simultaneously lowering the average cost of communication for consumers by over 23%.”
While we concentrated on the rural rollout, we increased access to broadband services to roughly 88% of the population (up from 83% in 2021) across the markets of the MTN Group, extending digital inclusion across Africa.
The Group bemoaned the effects of loadshedding in South Africa, which is not unlike to what has been happening in Nigeria where the public power supply has been epileptic.
“Our proactive commercial, expenditure efficiency, supply chain, network, and financial resilience actions, along with the increase in capital investment, helped lessen the impact on results of a challenging operating environment. High inflation and interest rates, weak local currencies, pressure on disposable income, and in South Africa, the considerable effects of severe loadshedding were among the factors that affected all markets.
“MTN South Africa’s performance was strong, with service revenue increasing by 3.6% to approximately R41 billion and an EBITDA margin of 39.2%.
“We are encouraged by the performance of the business and the focus on network resilience,” Mupita stated in reference to MTN South Africa. In order to ensure network resilience, MTN South Africa made a large investment. This was done in the face of historic loadshedding and an increased requirement for backup power in the second half of 2022.
“South Africa now has a rare chance to expedite measures to protect the resilience of essential national infrastructure, such as telecommunications,” he continued. To address the quadruple challenges of energy, logistics, crime and corruption, and youth unemployment, the government and businesses must work together to embrace this opportunity and act swiftly. South Africa could fall apart if nothing is done.
“We continued to carry out our four strategic initiatives throughout all of our markets. We progressed in separating our fintech business from our GSM business, extended our fintech ecosystem, and received offers for strategic minority investments into the MTN Group fintech structure in order to build the biggest and most valuable platforms. In May 2023, we hope to have finished the process of reviewing offers and involving investors.
We expanded voice, data, and fintech income laid out more than 5,000 kilometers of fiber and made investments in subsea cables to drive industry-leading connectivity operations. We cut our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions to value in an effort to reach net zero by 2040. We continued to place a high priority on diversity and inclusion, and by achieving 40% women representation, we were able to get closer to our 2030 goal of gender parity. Additionally, we hastened the transformation of our portfolio by recording R12 billion in cash from asset realizations and entering into a share purchase agreement with a division of M1 Group Limited to sell all of our MTN Afghanistan shares for a total gross price of US$35 million.
MTN Group expects to spend more than R37 billion on networks and platforms in 2023, with R9 billion going toward the South African network.