MTN Group has reported that group service revenue has increased 17,8% in the quarter ended 31 March 2021.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is up by 21,3%, with EBITDA margin improving to 44,2% (from 42,7%)

MTN South Africa’s service revenue increased by 11,8%, with an EBITDA margin of 39,8% (from 36,6%); and MTN Nigeria’s service revenue up by 17,2%, with an EBITDA margin of 53,1% (from 52,7%).

Over the period, subscribers decreased by 1,7-million to 277,9-million, mostly impacted by new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria.

However, active data subscribers increased by 1,3-million to 115,6-million and active MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) customers increased by 200 000 to 46,6-million – and the value of MoMO transactions increased by 86,6% YoY to $53,2-billion.

Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita comments: “The MTN Group has delivered a solid Q1 2021 trading performance, with service revenue and EBITDA margins expanding on the back of continued commercial momentum across the Group, with the Ambition 2025 strategy gaining execution traction, during challenging Covid-19 macro-economic conditions.

“Many of the markets that we operate in have started to emerge from the second wave of Covid-19 infections,” he adds. “While their economies are on a trajectory of steady recovery, we remain conscious of the ongoing impacts and challenges presented by the pandemic. At MTN, we maintain our commitment to supporting our broad range of stakeholders through our Y’ello Hope and other socio-economic initiatives.

“In particular, we continue to focus on four priority areas: social; commercial; network and supply chain; and funding and liquidity.”

Mupita adds that the fintech separation project is progressing well, in line with the group’s Ambition 2025 strategy.

The group recorded voice and data revenue growth of 7% and 32,7% respectively amid sustained demand for work-from-home services, digital entertainment as well as online education offerings.

“In the streams leading our push into platforms, we delivered growth in fintech and digital revenue of 31,1% and 32,3% respectively, supported by increased adoption and usage of our digital channels and offerings,” Mupita says. “Fintech revenue contributed 8,7% to total group service revenue.

“Wholesale revenue grew by 55,6% on the strength of national roaming in MTN SA.”