MTN Group’s Reported EBITDA Declines by 28.7%, Margin Drops Due to Rising Costs in Nigeria


MTN Group, Africa’s largest telecoms operator, reported an 18.8% decline in first-quarter service revenue, primarily attributed to the performance of MTN Nigeria, and adjusted its projected capital expenditure for 2024 downwards.

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With a subscriber base of 288 million across 18 African markets, MTN disclosed that its reported group service revenue for the quarter ending March 31 dropped to 42.9 billion rand ($2.34 billion) from 52.8 billion rand in the same period last year. However, in constant currency, service revenue rose by 11.1%.

The revenue from South Africa surpassed that of Nigeria, MTN’s largest market by revenue, growing marginally by 3% to 10.4 billion rand. Meanwhile, Nigeria experienced a significant decline of 52.8% to 10.2 billion rand.

Shares in MTN were down by 2.92% as of 0806 GMT.

Ralph Mupita, Group President and CEO, attributed the challenging macro environment in the first quarter of 2024 to persistent high inflation and local currency devaluations in key markets, including Nigeria. Global geopolitical tensions, such as the civil war in Sudan, also affected network availability and revenue generation.

MTN was further impacted by subsea cable cuts that resulted in downtime.

Reported group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) fell by 28.7% to 17.2 billion rand, but rose by 3.9% in constant currency. The reported EBITDA margin declined by 5.8 percentage points to 37.9%, mainly due to rising costs and currency depreciation in Nigeria.

The anticipated capital expenditure for 2024 was revised down to about 28 billion rand to 33 billion rand, compared to the previous target of 35 billion rand to 39 billion rand, primarily due to reduced spending by MTN Nigeria. In 2023, the company deployed 41.1 billion rand in capex.

In response to the performance challenges, MTN Nigeria’s board approved several initiatives to restore profitability, including requesting tariff increases, reducing dollar exposure, and lowering capex after extensive network investments in recent years.

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Godwin Okafor
Godwin Okafor
Godwin Okafor is a veteran Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur, and the visionary Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. With an extensive career spanning over 16 years in financial journalism, Godwin possesses a wealth of experience that seamlessly bridges both traditional and digital media landscapes. His journey in journalism commenced at Business Day, Nigeria, where he laid the foundation for his prolific career. In 2010, Godwin took a bold step by founding Naija247news Media, a platform that has since become a prominent player in delivering timely and accurate news. Educationally, Godwin Okafor holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the prestigious Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. His commitment to continuous learning led him to the Lagos Business School, where he further honed his skills. Additionally, he is recognized as a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania, having successfully completed the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists. Throughout his illustrious career, Godwin has earned acclaim by winning numerous journalism awards, a testament to his dedication to excellence in reporting. Beyond his role as a Financial Journalist, Godwin Okafor wears the hat of the Chairman at Emmerich Resources Limited, the publishing entity behind Naija247news. His visionary leadership has played a pivotal role in shaping the media landscape and establishing Naija247news as a trusted source of information. Godwin Okafor's multifaceted expertise, commitment to journalistic integrity, and leadership in the realm of business journalism underscore his influential presence in both the media and entrepreneurial spheres.

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