MTN has prioritised its FinTech operation, mobile money, recovery of prepaid, 4G coverage, Ayoba and MusicTime, as part of the business objectives for the second half of 2019.
The operator announced its plans for key markets including South Africa and Nigeria at the presentation of its results for the six months ended 30 June 2019 in Johannesburg today.
Results included 12% growth in adjusted headline earnings per share, service revenue grew by 9,7% to R67,9-billion and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expanded by 10,2% to R31,2-billion.
The holding company net debt to EBITDA ratio remained stable at 2.3x (which the company said is well within its guidance range of 2.0 to 2.5x), and capex intensity dropped further to 16.9%.
Rob Shuter, MTN Group President and chief executive officer, said: "We had a good first half, reporting solid financial results, good commercial momentum and encouraging strategic progress. We saw growth of 12% in adjusted headline earnings per share, which is the first time that we have delivered growth in this measure in recent years. Our service revenue grew just below 10% and EBITDA just above 10%, both on a constant currency basis. "
"Commercially, we had strong subscriber growth of 7,7 million in the first six months of the year to reach a total of 240 million subscribers. The number of active data users grew by 3,5 million to 82 million and our 30-day active Mobile Money users grew by 2,4 million to 30 million."
SA and Nigeria
MTN added in its statement that in South Africa, it had to deal with a weak macro-economic environment, as well as the introduction of new end-user requirements and the repricing of out-of-bundle data rates.
Shuter said: "MTN is well positioned to grow by leveraging our scale and enhancing our competitive position. In the second half, in South Africa we will focus on the continued turnaround of the enterprise business, the recovery of prepaid and the launch of Mobile Money."
"In Nigeria, economic activity was muted in the time of presidential elections and prior to the formation of the cabinet. In Iran, the rial weakened sharply after the re-imposition of US sanctions," the company stated.
Shuter added: "In Nigeria, we will focus on the further rollout of 4G coverage, the launch of Ayoba and MusicTime, as well as accelerating our FinTech ambitions."
In July 2019 MTN announced that it had been granted a licence by the Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) to offer financial services.
ITWeb reported that the company's subsidiary Yello Digital Financial Services (YDFS) was granted a full Super Agent Licence.
Looking ahead the company has underlined six focus areas: the continued turnaround of operations in the West and Central Africa region; the resolution of what it described as "some of the more complicated regulatory situations"; the rollout of MusicTime! and Ayoba across the group; the asset realisation programme; launch of pan-African MTN 4 Good campaign and delivering on medium-term targets."