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Friday, September 01, 2006

MTN records 31m subs across operations, increases revenue

Remmy Nweke

Global System for Mobile communication giant on the continent, MTN Group, has recorded total subscriber base in excess of 31 million, just as its half-year revenue also increased by 17.6 per cent to R20.2 billion (about N157.229,52).

The increase in subscriber base is up by 9.4 per cent against 25.4 million it was in the last six months with Nigeria influencing the number with about 15 per cent growth against the record as at December 15, 2005.

This is additional to its recent acquisition of Investcom boost up the subscriber base by 6.14 million.

It would recalled that the group changed its financial year-end to December 31 in line with its operational cycle and international peer group, and today reported interim results at June 30 for the first time. The last reviewed six-month period was September 30, 2005.

This came as MTN South African growth recorded two per cent as at the same period aforementioned.

An interim result issued by the group’s corporate affairs and endorsed by the group chief executive, Mr. Phuthuma Nhleko, showed that Nigeria comes second in the total subscriber base with 9,636,000 as at June 30, 2006 followed by Cameroon with 1,528,000, Uganda 1,236,000, Cote d’Ivoire 1,108,000, Botswana 531,000, Rwanda 311,000, Swaziland 236,000, Congo Brazzaville 229,000, and Zambia 119,000

In all MTN group achieved an increase of 27.5 per cent in adjusted headline earnings per share, while its revenue increased by 17.6 per cent to R20.2 billion, adjacent to R17.2 billion it had at September 30, 2005.

However, Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortation (EBITDA), he said, increased by R8.7 billion. This is against R7.2 billion recorded September last year.
The last reviewed six-month period was September 30, 2005, which has been used for income statement comparatives.

According to Mr. Nhleko, “We are pleased with the Group’s solid performance across all operating units and subscriber growth over the past six months following the Group’s acquisitions during 2005. The performance reflects our strategy of investing in quality networks and bringing innovative and affordable products to consumers.”

He said, operations acquired during 2005 accounted for 1,986,000 subscribers, comprising 8 per cent of the group’s subscriber base as at 30 June 2006.

He also stressed that operations contributed 5.8 per cent of revenue and 4.5 per cent of EBITDA for the period under review, even as the group has changed its segmental reporting to reflect three major operating regions, namely Southern Africa; West and Central Africa; and Middle East, North and East Africa.

Mr. Nhleko further said that Southern Africa contributed 58 per cent of revenue and 48 per cent of EBITDA.

The West and Central Africa region, he disclosed contributed 40 per cent and 50 per cent of revenue and EBITDA respectively, unchanged from September 2005.For the Middle East, North and East African region, the group CEO said it has not contributed significantly as MTN Irancell’s commercial launch is expected towards the latter part of September this year.

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