MTN ups guidance after strong 2021 - Mobile World Live

MTN ups guidance after strong 2021

09 MAR 2022

MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita (pictured) hailed the South Africa-headquartered operator’s performance in 2021 despite the twin challenges of the global Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis and an ongoing implementation of a restructuring strategy to create digital platforms.

The group increased its medium-term guidance, raising targets for service revenue growth and returns. Group service revenue is now pegged for at-least mid-teen per cent growth compared with low- to mid-teen expected previously.

“We adapted to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and started shaping the MTN of the future through the execution of Ambition 2025,” Mupita stated.

Mupita emphasised that MTN remains focused on “providing leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress” and said the enhanced guidance “reflects the growth we see across our markets, as we play our part in driving digital and financial inclusion across Africa”.

MTN rolled out a new brand in February, with the shift framed as part of Ambition 2025.

The company said it will continue work on restructuring several of its units in an attempt to drive growth in its connectivity business and progress efforts to structurally separate its infrastructure and financial technology units.

Headline growth
In 2021, service revenue grew by 18.3 per cent in constant-currency terms to ZAR171.8 billion ($11.3 billion), with net profit of ZAR17 billion down from more than ZAR19 billion in 2020.

“The performance was underpinned by pleasing growth in our larger operating companies, operating leverage and the benefits of our expense efficiency programme,” said Mupita, adding headline earnings per share (HEPS) adjusted for non-operational items increased by 26.6 per cent.

HEPS are the key measure of profit in South Africa and MTN recently predicted they would be between 25 per cent and 35 per cent higher.

The company noted a slowdown in subscriber additions, which it blamed on industry-wide regulations in Nigeria.

Total group subscribers reached 272.4 million by the end of the year, up 2.9 million. It is maintaining its medium-term target of raising its total subscriber base to 300 million, mobile data users to 200 million and home broadband users to 10 million.

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Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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