Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


MTN fintech users grow as spinoff looms

Article Image
MTN's fintech and data business is a strong growth sector for the pan-African telco as it moves forward with plans to spin off the fintech business into a standalone entity.

MTN Group's results for the year ended December 31, 2021, show that greater adoption of data and fintech services resulted in the addition of 11.1 million new data users to reach 122 million, while Mobile Money users rose by 10.4 million to 56.8 million.

As users grew, the group also naturally increased revenue, with group data revenue up by 16% to R56.5 billion (US$3.7 billion); and group fintech revenue growing by 17.4% to R15.9 billion ($1 billion).

To handle the 53.3% expansion in data traffic and 41.1% increase in fintech volumes, MTN said it deployed total capex of R32.7 billion ($2.16 billion) in the year to boost the capacity and resilience of its networks and platforms. The transaction value of MTN's MoMo platform increased by 56.8% for the year to US$239.4 billion.

"We're very well positioned to take advantage of what we are seeing as structurally sustained growth in demand in our markets for data services and fintech," said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita on a call with journalists on Wednesday.

Overall subscribers grew by 2.9 million year-on-year, to a total of 272.4 million subscribers, despite a slowdown in subscriber additions in Nigeria due to industry-wide regulations.

MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita. (Source: MTN).
MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita. (Source: MTN).

Mupita said work to structurally separate MTN's fintech business is progressing well and he believes separation will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2022, one quarter behind schedule.

"It's obviously important that when we create a group fintech business that the Nigeria business is part of that," he explained about the delay.

MTN has secured an "approval in principle" for a Payment Services Banking license in Nigeria but is waiting on the official license to run full financial services in the country – which is MTN's biggest market.

A structural separation of MTN's fiber business is also underway. Mupita said the target is to complete this in 2023.

During 2021, MTN rolled out terrestrial fiber in markets including SA, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe and concluded 15 new cross-border links across Africa.

Financial fitness

Overall service revenue for the group ticked up 1% to R171.8 billion ($11.3 billion) but would have been up 18.3% on a constant-currency basis.

MTN South Africa's business units achieved healthy growth, with service revenue up 6.5% for the year. Both MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana delivered service revenue growth of over 20%.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 23.7% to R80.8 billion ($5.3 billion) in constant-currency terms or 5.3% in real terms (before once-off items).

The board declared a final dividend of R3 (US$0.20) per share, after previously suspending dividend payments in 2020. Mupita said shareholders can expect an even higher dividend in the 2022 financial year.

Middle East exit impacts

Basic earnings per share (EPS) decreased by 19.3% to R7.63 ($0.50) due to impacts from impairment losses relating mainly to MTN Yemen and derecognition losses relating to MTN Syria.

"Our exit from the Middle East, in line with our pan-African strategy, is underway. In the year, the Group exited Syria and Yemen and we continue to explore options to exit Afghanistan," MTN said.

Other highlights from the year included the listing of IHS Towers on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2021, "creating a liquidity platform and future opportunities to monetize the financial investment we have in this business," according to Mupita.

MTN also listed its local opcos of MTN Rwanda and MTN Uganda during 2021 and completed a public offering to sell more shares in MTN Nigeria to local investors.

Related posts:

*Top image source: created by senivpetro - .

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up