Weak economic environment slows MTN Group growth in Q1

By Emmanuel Okwuke (With Agency reports)

Weaker economic environments in both the company’s major markets of Nigeria and South Africa negatively affected the first quarter results of MTN Group this year, said MTN Group.

mtnThe price of oil, the biggest economic driver in Nigeria, halved last year, reducing the economic growth of Africa’s biggest single economy. In SA, the economy grew at 1.5% last year, eroding the disposable income of cellphone users.

In Nigeria, the 57.2-million people that used MTN’s cellphone services last year spent on average 1,177.82 naira, while the 61.1-million people now spend on average 1,102.59 naira.

Measured in US dollars, MTN Nigeria’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) declined from $7.21 during last year’s first quarter to $5.68 this first quarter.

SA’s average revenue per user also fell by $2 to $7.45 Q1 this year.

MTN Group has reported a 1.8 percent increase in subscribers to 227.5 million in the first quarter of 2015 ending 31 March, across its 22 operations in Africa and Middle East, with a much bigger jump in data revenue.

MTN Nigeria increased its subscriber base by 2.1 percent to 61.1 million and maintained subscriber market share during the quarter. It also maintained market leadership during the period.

Data revenue increased by 17.0 percent year on year and now contributes 19.7 percent to total revenue.

MTN South Africa recorded slow subscriber growth, ending the quarter with 28 million subscribers, the same rounded figure as the previous quarter.

However, customers were actually down by 0.1 percent, with MTN SA having lost approximately 35,000 subscribers in the quarter.

The post-paid and pre-paid subscriber base declined marginally recording 5.4 million and 22.6 million subscribers respectively.

This was because of seasonal effects, some short-term challenges in the distribution channel, and lower handset sales.

Source : Independent

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