MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria), one of Africa’s largest providers of communications services with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world, has recommended final dividend of N4.97kobo per share payment to shareholders.
This is contained in the MTN Nigeria’s audited (account) results for the full year ended 31 December 2019.
- Mobile subscribers increased by 6.1 million to 64.3 million
- Active data users increased by 6.5 million to 25.2 million
- Service revenue increased by 12.6% to NGN1.2 trillion
- EBITDA grew by 45.2% to N629.9 billion (IAS 17: 20.9% to N524.4 billion)
- EBITDA margin increased by 12.1 pp to 53.9% (IAS 17: 44.8%, up 3.0pp)
- Profit before tax grew by 31.1% to N290.1 billion (IAS 17: 39.9% to N309.6 billion)
- Earnings per share rose by 38.8% to N9.9k (IAS 17: 47.9% to N10.6k)
- Capital expenditure (excluding ROU assets) increased by 13.1% to N208.3 billion
- Final dividend of N4.97 kobo per share recommended
Unless otherwise stated, financial and non-financial information is year-on-year (YoY, full-year 2019 versus 2018). In January 2019, MTN Nigeria said it has adopted IFRS 16 and adjustments are reflected in the results.
Commenting on the account results, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said:
“I am pleased with our performance in 2019, which demonstrates the progress we have made in the implementation of our BRIGHT strategy. Despite a challenging operating environment, we continued to deliver double-digit growth in service revenue in line with our medium-term guidance. Voice revenue growth remained healthy, and data revenue continued to accelerate, supporting a 12.6% increase in service revenue with an acceleration in growth to 14.0% YoY in Q4 2019.
“Following the completion of the SIM re-registration exercise in Q3 2019, we recorded 2.7 million net additions in Q4. In total, we added 6.1 million new subscribers to our network in 2019. Although the last quarter is usually seasonally strong, service revenue growth (14%) in Q4 outpaced the seasonal effect.
“In the third quarter, we focused on several initiatives to enhance coverage and drive data usage penetration. These initiatives include optimising frequencies, expanding our 4G network coverage with over 6,000 additional sites leveraging 800MHz spectrum and repositioning our commercial data offerings.
“It is pleasing to note that the promising results we reported at the end of Q3 2019 accelerated in the fourth quarter. Corresponding with the increase in our active data subscriber net additions by 2.9 million in Q4 2019, our 4G population coverage rose by 8.4pp to 43.8%, giving people in 68 additional cities access to 4G. We closed the year with 132 cities covered by 4G and became the first mobile network operator in West Africa to demonstrate the capability of 5G technology. We are excited about its potential for our customers and Nigeria’s overall national development plans.
“At 20.9% on an IAS 17 basis (45.2% on reported IFRS basis), our earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose at a rate in excess of revenue growth and we recorded an EBITDA margin of 44.8% (53.9% on reported IFRS basis). Our reported profit before tax rose by 31.1%, while profit after tax and earnings per share both rose by 38.8%. In line with our dividend policy, the board has proposed a final dividend of N4.97 kobo per share to be paid out of distributable net income. This brings the total dividend for the year to N7.92 kobo per share.
“We are delighted with the progress made in resolving our dispute with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on the adequacy of taxes and duties paid. We have discontinued the legal action against the AGF following the transfer of the matter to the relevant authorities and look forward to a final resolution. We have always fulfilled our tax obligations and remain committed to maintaining good relationships with all regulatory authorities.
“Finally, we achieved a major milestone in the history of MTN Nigeria with the conversion from a private company to a public limited company and the subsequent listing on the premium board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which has led to a broader base of Nigerian shareholders for the company,” the CEO said.