MTN Uganda half year profit up on data and digital growth

Strong growth in data and digital services helped MTN Uganda increase revenue in the first half of 2017, interim results released by parent company MTN Group show.

The telecom collected Shs678.2bn in revenue in the first six months of the year, up from Shs619.4bn in the same period last year, an improvement of 9.5%. MTN Uganda is the country’s largest company by revenue.

Data revenue increased by 29.2%, which the company attributed to “an increase in data traffic and good growth in data bundle adoption.” On the other hand, an 11.3% increase in the number of active mobile money customers to 4.6 million helped push up digital revenue by 19.7%.

The two income segments contributed 36.75% of revenue, with data responsible for 11.41% and digital – which includes mobile money, MoKash, MTN Play, MTN Music, and MTN football – 25.34%. Last year, the two segments contributed 32.8% to revenue.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at Shs224.4bn compared to Shs185.6bn last year, an improvement of 20.9%.

With costs coming in at R1.7bn, the telecom’s gross profits were Shs224.35bn, up from Shs186bn last year, an increase of 20.61%.

MTN Uganda added 610,000 subscribers in the six months to a total of 11.2 million, which puts its self-reported market share at 54.7%. This was “driven by attractive personalised bundled products, superior network quality and effective distribution.”

The company also revealed that it successfully registered 89% of its subscriber base under the new SIM registration requirements – which recognise only national IDs for Ugandan citizens – during the period, ahead of the 30 August 2017 deadline.

MTN Uganda unit contributed 3.9% to the group’s revenue, which increased by 6.7% to R64.3bn. The Johannesburg listed company attributed the increase in its revenue to “encouraging revenue growth” in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.