The telecommunications group has returned to profit, with the total revenue increased by 6,7% to R64,3 billion. Its reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) improved to 217 cents, compared to a 271 cent headline loss per share in the comparable period.
The network provider’s data revenue has increased by 31.9%, benefiting from significantly improved data network quality and capacity.
MTN’s data revenue increased by 14,4% in South Africa. CEO Rob Shutter says MTN was seeing pleasing progress in key growth drivers of data and digital services against headwinds of challenging macro-economic conditions and foreign exchange currency pressures.
In the past six months, the company’s management team undertook a review of the group strategy and developed a clear growth plan for MTN that will be arranged under six pillars called BRIGHT. The plan comprises, Best customer experience; Returns and efficiency focus; IGNITE commercial performance; Growth through data and digital; Hearts and minds; and Technology excellence.
“We continue to strengthen our focus on operational excellence with our six strategic pillars integrated in our new bright strategy. Our focus during the second half of the year will be to entrench our bright strategy, complete our network investment programme and build medium-term financial KPIs and targets for the Bright strategy,” said Shutter.
MTN said capital expenditure in the first half of the year was slower than expected, impacted by limited foreign currency availability in Nigeria, some execution challenges, as well as the seasonality of the capital expenditure cycle. The company’s capital expenditure decreased by 25,2% to R10,3 billion.
The group’s subscriber numbers in the period decreased by 3,6% to 231,8 million impacted by a decline in subscriber numbers in MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana. Strong prepaid performance and network expansion have influenced the network’s performance in South Africa.
MTN suffered a huge loss when it was slapped with $5,2 billion (R78 billion) fine by the Nigerian Communication Commission for failing to deregister unsubscribed users. The fine was later reduced to $3,9 billion (R58 billion).