MTN Nigeria Communications Plc reported revenue in excess of N2 trillion for 2022, a record year in which turnover increased by one-fifth and the bottom line increased by roughly the same rate, according to its audited earnings report released on Wednesday.
The achievement cements the wireless carrier’s position as Nigeria’s largest public company by revenue, with turnover increasing 21.6 percent to N2 trillion, with service revenue accounting for 99.7 percent of that total.
According to the report’s details, income sources such as data and digital services grew significantly.
The Johannesburg-based MTN Group’s local unit added 7.2 million new subscribers in the review year, representing a 10.5% increase and bringing its total subscriber base to 75.6 million.
“We continued to manage and invest in the resilience of our business and networks, expanding coverage and capacity with a focus on expense efficiencies and disciplined capital allocation,” CEO Karl Toriola said in a separate document accompanying the financials.
“We became the first mobile network operator to launch a 5G network in Nigeria, providing coverage in key cities in the six geopolitical regions. Since its commercial launch in September 2022, we have rolled out 588 sites and brought the 5G network to 5G-enabled smartphones, starting with iPhone users.”
Finance income increased modestly to N13.8 billion from N11.9 billion, primarily due to interest income on bank deposits.
The telco launched its payments subsidiary MoMo PSB last May, one month after receiving regulatory approval to run the unit, and according to the most recent report, it added 2 million active mobile money wallets between the launch and the end of December.
During the year, active fintech subscribers increased by more than half to 14.9 million.
Direct network operating costs, which increased by 18.1% to N459 billion, and finance costs, which increased by roughly one-third, were major drags on earnings.
Costs saw considerable jump, dealing a blow on margin, which stood at 17.8 per cent compared to the financial year 2021, when net profit margin was 18.1 per cent.
“As at 31 December 2022, the Group had trade receivables of N85.88 billion before expected credit loss of N13.65 billion,” independent auditor Ernst & Young noted in its report.
“The telecommunication industry continues to be impacted by certain macroeconomic challenges that resulted in the Company experiencing uncertainty over the collectability of some of its receivables from specific customers,” it added.
Pre-tax profit was N534 billion, up from N436.7 billion a year ago, while net profit increased 20.2 percent to N358.9 billion from N298.7 billion.
MTN Nigeria stated in another regulatory filing that it would pay shareholders a final dividend of N10 per share, for a total potential payout of N203.5 billion.
If the proposal is approved by shareholders, the total dividend payment for the year will be N317.5 billion (N15.60 per unit). This compares to N267.1 billion (N13.12 per share) the previous year.
With assets totaling N2.7 trillion as of the end of December, MTN Nigeria is the largest market for MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile network operator.