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.

Business of Tech

MTN Nigeria profit soars in 2022

Article Image
MTN Nigeria has reported a strong set of results for the financial year ended December 31, 2022, with profit up over 20% and users growing 10% despite SIM registration challenges, high inflation rates and macroeconomic pressure.

The Nigerian subsidiary of pan-African telecom giant MTN reported a 22.3% increase year-on-year (YoY) in profit before tax, to 534 billion Nigerian naira (US$1.16 billion).

"2022 was challenging due to global macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility, resulting in higher inflation, supply chain uncertainties, foreign exchange volatility and availability. In Nigeria, Inflation reached a 17-year high of 21.5% in November before moderating slightly to 21.3% in December, bringing the average for the year to 18.8% and putting pressure on consumer spending," said MTN Nigeria CEO, Karl Toriola in a results statement.

To curb rising inflation, the Central Bank of Nigeria increased interest rates four times during 2022.

MTN Nigeria's service revenue increased by 21.5% YoY to N2 trillion ($4.34 billion) while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 22% YoY, to N1.1 trillion ($2.39 billion).

With these results Nigeria solidifies its place as MTN Group's biggest revenue generator and continued on from its strong performance in 2021. The improved earnings also mean good things for shareholders, with the operator proposing a final dividend of N10 per share ($0.02).

5G flourish

Toriola said MTN continued to manage and invest in the resilience of its business and network in Nigeria "expanding coverage and capacity with a focus on expense efficiencies and disciplined capital allocation".

This took place as capital expenditure (capex) increased by 23.5% over the year, with MTN spending N504.3 billion ($1.1 billion).

"We became the first mobile network operator to launch a 5G network in Nigeria, providing coverage in key cities in the six geopolitical regions. Since its commercial launch in September 2022, we have rolled out 588 sites and brought the 5G network to 5G-enabled smartphones, starting with iPhone users," Toriola explained.

"We accelerated the coverage and capacity of our 4G network in response to the rising data traffic, bringing 4G population coverage to 79.1% (up by 8.7%). 4G traffic now constitutes 79.5% (up by 9.7%) of the total traffic on our network," he added.

Customer churn curbed

MTN managed to add 7.2 million Nigerian subscribers in 2022, an increase of 10.5% to 75.6 million, despite the telco having to drop millions of users who had not properly adhered to the country's SIM card registration process.

In April 2022 the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed all operators to restrict outgoing calls for subscribers whose SIMs were not linked to a National Identification Number (NIN). This forced MTN to cut off 19 million users at that time.

"As a result, in Q3, we recorded higher churn from affected subscribers who stopped activity after the initial restriction, some of whom opted to obtain new SIMs. Therefore, we continued to ramp up gross connections and roll out NIN recovery offers to mitigate the impact of churn," MTN said.

"General traffic trends have also evolved in line with expectations since the implementation of the directive. Voice traffic maintained a steady recovery, while data traffic demonstrated strong growth momentum, reflecting the overall trend in service revenue growth," it added.

Fintech future

The year saw active data users increase by 15.3% to 39.5 million and active fintech subscribers increase by 57.5% to 14.9 million.

The fintech and Mobile Money (MoMo) business has also seen strong growth after the launch of MTN's MoMo Payment Service Bank (PSB) in May 2022.

"Our active fintech users rose by 5.5 million to 14.9 million, of which approximately 2 million are active MoMo wallets," Toriola said.

The MoMo PSB offers a wider range of mobile financial services products to Nigerians and expands beyond just MoMo wallets and traditional person-to-person money transfers.


Want to know more about telco financials, regulation and deals in Africa? Check out our dedicated Business of Tech content channel here on Connecting Africa.


Fintech revenue increased by 19.6% YoY overall, with solid growth in airtime lending product, Xtratime, which grew 18.3%, as well as core fintech services (wallet and super-agent business) which grew over 218%.

"The number of registered MoMo wallets since the launch in May 2022 was 13.2 million, indicating the underlying momentum in the ecosystem. We expanded our MoMo agent network by adding over 88k active agents, bringing the total number to approximately 224k," MTN said.

Related posts:

*Top image is of MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola (Source: MTN).

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

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.

Story

Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

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.

Story

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.

Story

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

Story

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.

Story

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