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MTN Ghana signs roaming pact with AT, as Telecel deal nears

By , Africa editor
Ghana , 02 May 2024
Stephen Blewett, MTN Ghana CEO.
Stephen Blewett, MTN Ghana CEO.

MTN Ghana has signed a long-term roaming agreement with AT (previously AirtelTigo, and is nearing the end of negotiations with Telecel for a similar deal, it has been revealed.

As it reported its first-quarter performance, the telco provided a national roaming update, stating that sharing infrastructure is critical to ensuring universal access and speeding Ghana's digitalisation process.

MTN Ghana CEO Stephen Blewett commented on the company's performance in the quarter, stating that the telco continues to deliver on its Ambition 2025 targets despite the challenges posed by macroeconomic headwinds that affected business operations.

He noted that "these include driving topline growth and cost efficiencies, as well as creating shared value for all stakeholders. These efforts supported a solid Q1 2024 result, with service revenue growth of 32.4% year-on-year (YoY) and a strong EBITDA margin."

In terms of other key indicators, MTN Ghana's mobile customer base climbed by 1.2% to 27.8 million, active data subscribers increased by 15.3% to 16 million, and active Mobile Money (MoMo) users increased by 16.1% to 15.6 million over the same time.

In terms of key financial indicators, the telco's service revenue increased by 32.4% to GHS3.8 billion, profits before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 31.6% to GHS2.1 billion, and the EBITDA margin declined by 0.4 percentage points to 55.9%.

Total capex for the quarter was GHS1.2 billion (ex-lease capex: GHS852.2 million), while the company paid GHS1.7 billion in direct and indirect taxes (2023: GHS1.1 billion).

Looking ahead, according to Blewett, Ghana's macroeconomic outlook for the rest of 2024 is projected to remain tough due to high inflation, currency volatility, and forex shortages all of which might have an impact on economic growth and living costs for citizens.

Blewett said: “Government forecasts inflation for the year to be within the band of

13% to 17% before gradually trending back to the medium-term target range of six percent to 10% by 2025.

“We are fully committed to executing our Ambition 2025 strategy, even in the face of a challenging economic outlook. We will continue with our cost efficiency programme to safeguard margins and preserve liquidity.”

He went on to say the company focus on driving growth by efficient investment in infrastructure to improve the quality of connectivity remains.

“MTN Ghana is committed to enhancing our platforms like myMTN, ayoba, and MoMo app to provide improved services. Additionally, we aim to capitalise on the high demand for data, especially in rural areas, and promote the use of smartphones by the masses. We also plan to address the need for high-speed internet in the home broadband market.”

By doing so, he said: “We will continue to grow our partnerships with various financial institutions, agents, and merchants to expand the mobile money ecosystem and improve the convenience for our customers to transfer money to others, make payments through merchants, save, and access micro-loans, micro-insurance, and international remittance services.”

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