MTN Group has grown subscriber-base by 7.5 per cent since December 31, 2010 to 152.3 million across its operations.
The MTN Group Limited in a media release made available to ITRealms Online at the weekend, indicated that the mobile operator has continued to deliver a satisfactory operational performance for the six months with subscriber growth of 7.5 per cent, thereby growing revenue 9.4 per cent higher on a constant currency basis and a 1.3 percentage points expansion in the earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) margin to 44.6 per cent.
ITRealms Online gathered that MTN Group witnessed a free cash flow of up to 23.7 per cent to 19,494 million Rand, about N417,466 million, while adjusted HEPS went up to 7.2 per cent amounting to 470.1 cents.
The interim dividend of 273 cents per share was achieved within the period under review, even as payout ratio increased to 65 per cent.
ITRealms Online learnt that the EBITDA margin was buoyed by the profit on the sale of towers in Ghana. This if excluded, the group said, along with the Conakry settlement, the margin of 44.0 per cent is still higher than the previous year.
The average rand, the group said, was based on dollar exchange rate strengthened from R7.52 in the first half of 2010 to R6.80 in the current period, dampening the reported results.
The constant currency, the group noted, reported numbers were those at the same average exchange rates that were applicable for the first half of 2010.
“Notwithstanding all the challenges, revenue increased by 1.0 per cent to R56, 542 million. There was strong subscriber growth in most of the group’s operations including an encouraging performance in Sudan,” part of the media release read.
MTN Group also noted that political instability in Yemen and Syria created challenges for business environment, stressing that trading conditions in Cote d’Ivoire had since improved following the disruptions in the first three months of the year, whereas the dispute with the government of Guinea Conakry has been resolved.
The various group initiatives, MTN Group stated, maintained momentum over the period and assisted in improving margins while sourcing and growing new revenue streams.
These initiatives, the group said, included continued investment in transmission via undersea cables and fibre and radio technologies such as Second Generation (2G), WIMAX and Third Generation (3G) as well as mobile data solutions and sourcing of appropriate handsets.Equally, MTN Group informed, these have enabled the group to increase data revenues excluding Short Messaging Service (SMS) by 24.1 per cent to R3, 558 million and total data revenues including SMS by 14.2 per cent to R6, 950 million.
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