MTN Group, Africa’s biggest telecommunications network, posted a $357 million half-year loss, as its Nigerian subscriber base fell to 58.9 million in 2016.
MTN Nigeria subscribers decreased by 3.7 percent, while the its revenue and EBITDA fell by 4.8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively.
“MTN Nigeria continued to experience a challenging operating environment impacted by the disconnection of the final batch of subscribers in compliance with the subscriber registration process during the period,” MTN said in its half year result.
“The operation was also impacted by the inability to offer competitive prices as a result of the suspension of regulatory services until May 2016, when the operation obtained the necessary approval to offer competitive pricing plans and promotions.
“Tough economic conditions further negatively impacted consumer spending. MTN Nigeria increased market share to 46.2%, despite the decline in its subscriber base by 3.7% to 58,9 million (including 568 000 Visafone subscribers).”
Data revenue declined by 2.7 percent and contributed 19.3 percent to total revenue, while the number of smartphones on the network increased by 11.2 percent to 16million.
MTN Nigeria registered accounts on MTN Nigeria’s Mobile Money offering, Diamond Yellow, increased by five percent to 6.5 million.
“Over the six-month period, 428 3G sites and 507 LTE sites were rolled out. The operation experienced some delays in the network re-planning as well as delays with equipment purchases as a result of foreign exchange limitations.
“Capex for the period increased by 78,9%* to R2 534 million. Improving the quality of the 3G co-located network and the rollout of LTE remains a priority.
“During the period, the operation purchased additional LTE spectrum for a consideration of R1 billion”.
Other WECA – the remainder of the region increased its subscriber base by 2.8 percent to 46.6 million driven by solid growth in Ghana and satisfactory growth in Cameroon.