Business News of Monday, 15 March 2010
MTN Group reports sound operational performance for the year ended 31 December 2009. MTN Group revenues increased by 9,2% and earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (“EBITDA”) by 6,7% based on a sound operational performance for the year ended 31 December 2009.
Group subscribers up 28% to 116,0 million
Revenue up 9,2%
EBITDA up 6,7%
Said MTN Group President and CEO Mr. Phuthuma Nhleko: “The solid performance of MTN operations in most of the countries in which the Group has a presence was achieved despite economic challenges, increased regulatory changes and growing competition. Continued delivery in accordance with an aggressive network rollout strategy remained key throughout 2009, enabling MTN to maintain or improve its market share in most of its operations. Better distribution and a focus on segmental product offerings were other contributory factors. As a result, subscribers increased by 28,0% to 116,0 million for the period under review, indicating a continuing demand for mobile services in countries where mobile penetration is still relatively low”.
MTN initiated several Group projects during 2009 which are being rolled out through most operations. Although many of these projects are still in progress, this Group-wide approach allows MTN to differentiate itself from the competition, thereby ensuring a stronger brand and product preference whilst leveraging its regional footprint. These projects include the following:
A coordinated effort to improve operational efficiencies through centralised procurement, best practice guidelines for site build, network management, safety and activity based costing.
MTN has committed in excess of USD191 million in various submarine cables to ensure high-speed connectivity and improved quality and capacity of voice and data offerings. These include the East Africa submarine cable (“EASSy”); the Europe India gateway (“EIG”); SAT-3/SAFE; the East Africa Marine system (“TEAMs”) and the West Africa Cable System (“WACS”).
With an initial focus on money transfers, Mobile Money has been launched to date in South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Yemen. The success of MTN Uganda, which was first to launch the new service in March 2009, is indicative of the scale of the opportunity: to date, Uganda has more than 680,000 Mobile Money subscribers.
There have been many regulatory changes within the telecommunications industry over the past year, particularly focused on SIM registration and reductions in Mobile Termination Rates (“MTR”). Constructive and early engagement with regulatory authorities by management teams have ensured that MTN’s operations have been generally well prepared for compliance with the regulatory changes implemented in 2009, and will be for those to follow in 2010.
Country Overview - Ghana
MTN Ghana increased its subscribers by 24% to 8 million for the year ended 31 December 2009. Improvements in network quality and capacity, enhanced value propositions, the MTN Zone offering as well as loyalty programmes have enabled MTN Ghana to maintain its market share of 55%, despite fierce competition. An increased distribution footprint also contributed to the maintenance of market share.
MTN Ghana rolled out 729 2G and 531 3G additional BTS’s for the year. 3G mobile broadband services, including the internet SIM launch and MTN Loaded, have been introduced to both the consumer and corporate segments. At the end of December 2009, there were approximately 1 million unique hits on MTN Loaded. The MTN Group President and CEO, Mr. Phuthuma Nhleko congratulated Ghana for another outstanding performance.
ABOUT THE MTN GROUP
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN". As at 31 December 2009, MTN recorded 116,0 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.mtn.com and www.mtnplay.com
For more information, please contact:
MTN Corporate Services Division
Tel: 024 4300 000