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MTN rallies to cement strategy of its two biggest markets

MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita.
MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita.

The MTN Group has committed to support a bi-national conference for businesses operating in Nigeria and South Africa.

The operator reaffirmed its commitment to its two biggest markets following a visit by MTN Nigeria Chairman Ernest Ndukwe and MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola to the Group’s headquarters in Fairland, Johannesburg.

Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa Muhammed Haruna Manta met with the MTN Nigeria delegation, along with MTN Group Chairman Mcebisi Jonas as well as Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita.

Jonas said the trip from the Group’s Nigerian colleagues was productive: “It has been a fruitful two days in which, together with our Nigeria team, we were able to unpack our plans in Nigeria and how these align to the Group’s strategic intent of providing leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.”

Ndukwe said MTN Nigeria was committed to that country’s socio-economic development: “MTN Nigeria believes that we should not only provide a service to customers, but also deepen connectivity access as well as drive financial inclusion. To this end, for 2022 MTN Nigeria intends to ensure the connectivity of an additional 2 000 rural communities and has secured 100 MHz of 3500 spectrum to enable Nigeria’s move to 5G.”

Mupita underscored the importance of MTN’s operations in Nigeria and South Africa to the overall health of the Group: “Nigeria and South Africa are our largest operations, contributing two-thirds of the value of the Group. Supporting the strengthening of economic and business relationships between the two countries is in line with our strategic priority to create shared value.”

Toriola elaborated on his operation’s role in creating shared value: “MTN Nigeria is committed to supporting the economic development of the country through driving public-private partnerships and initiatives such as CACOVID, the AU vaccine initiative and the construction of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.”

MTN Group owns 75.6% of MTN Nigeria and continues to work towards further broadening the local shareholder base, subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals. Over the medium term, we aim to reduce our shareholding to approximately 65%.

In early March, MTN announced that it would spin off its lucrative Fintech business in Q2 2022, while the fibre unit will be unbundled “a few months later”.

ITWeb reported that according to Mupita, the MTN Group reported strong financial, operational and sustainability results in 2021 in a tough macro environment, and these were delivered through strong strategic execution and sustained commercial momentum across 19 markets.

For the year, in constant-currency terms, the group’s service revenue grew by 18.3% to R171.8 billion; earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 23.7% to R80.8 billion; and the EBITDA margin expanded by 2.2 percentage points to 44.5%.

Share sale scheme

ITWeb has also reported that MTN raised R4.3-billion in Nigeria after successfully concluding a share sale scheme.

The operator released a statement which read: ““MTN Group is pleased to announce the successful completion of its Series 1 offer for sale of 575 million MTN Nigeria shares to Nigerian investors”.

In early December, ITWeb Africa reported that MTN Nigeria had secured one of the two 100Mhz spectrum licences in the 3.5Ghz spectrum band auctioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In a statement released by the company, MTN described the latest development “as a significant step towards achieving the goals of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025)” and enables the company to roll out 5G services to the local market.

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