MTN Group highlighted increases in data usage and mobile financial services had helped fuel improved earnings in 2022, though ongoing power outages in South Africa blunted its domestic performance.

In its earnings statement, MTN detailed the impact of power outages in South Africa, which it noted had worsened in the second half of the year, causing network availability issues and upping costs for the business.

MTN CEO Ralph Mupita (pictured) noted it had a “comprehensive network resilience plan” in place to mitigate national energy cuts, which includes use of back-up power and additional security on sites to deal with battery theft and vandalism. The measures served to bump operating costs.

The executive estimated mitigating power outages cut MTN South Africa EBITDA by ZAR695 million ($38.2 million) across the year.

In more positive news for the group, Mupita highlighted a significant increase in customers for data services and mobile money across its operations. This helped boost revenue and profit in the face of challenging macroeconomic conditions.

MTN closed 2022 with 137 million mobile data subscribers, up 12 per cent year-on-year, and 69 million mobile money users, up 21 per cent.

In terms of volume, both data usage and financial services transactions were up by around a third in 2022.

Group net profit of ZAR19.3 million was up 18.4 per cent, on revenue of ZAR207 billion, 12.6 per cent higher.