MTN has increased its subscribers by 6,5%, to 201,5-million, during the six months ended 30 June.
Reported revenue for the six months increased 9,8%, despite being negatively impacted by the tariff cuts in both Nigeria and South Africa.
MTN Nigeria continued to show consistent month-on-month improvements in its operational metrics. Revenue performance, however, was impacted by the 40% reduction in mobile termination rates effective 1 April as well as by the temporary network disconnections in three northern states. In South Africa, the weak consumer environment and aggressive competition had a dampening effect on revenue.
Group EBITDA increased by 6,4% to R27 743-million, with the EBITDA margin remaining stable at 42,5% excluding the profit from the tower sales in Ivory Coast and Cameroon. The group expects improved organic growth in EBITDA in the second half of this year.
During the period, MTN invested R12 792-million in its network, bringing 2 130 2G and 1 800 3G sites on air
In addition, foreign exchange movements of R962-million positively impacted headline earnings per share (HEPS) with HEPS increasing 22,0% to 654 cents for the period.
For the remainder of the year, MTN expect to deliver improved year-on-year organic growth in both revenue and EBITDA, although operating conditions in South Africa are expected to remain difficult.
It expects to add a total of 21,1-million subscribers for the full 2013 year.
Over the first six months of 2013, voice traffic volumes increased 26,2% year-on-year and voice revenue grew 7,9%. Voice revenue now accounts for 63,7% of total revenue, down from 64,8% in 2012.
During the period, data services were the key driver of MTNs revenue growth. Operations in South Africa and Nigeria were the biggest contributors to data revenue growth, while those in Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Benin also delivered a strong performance.
Data subscriber numbers increased by 29,5% to 65,4-million and data traffic grew by 55,7%. This was achieved through extending our 3G coverage as well as through the increased number of data-enabled devices, which have reached 122,2-million.
The network has 31,6-million smartphones in use and increasing smartphone penetration remains an important objective. We also continue to support innovation with products such as Magic Voice, MTN Play, MTN Opera Mini and MTN Afrinolly.
The MTN Mobile Money and financial services offering continues to gain traction in existing and new markets and had almost 12,1-million users at the end of June 2013, a year-on-year increase of 64,5%. MTN Mobile Money revenue reached R289-million, with Uganda the leading market for this service.