In the first half of 2023, MTN Group delivered resilient results, advanced its strategy by partnering with Mastercard on the MTN fintech business, and progressed plans to exit Afghanistan. This was achieved in a difficult operating environment marked by elevated inflation, weaker local currencies and regulatory developments across its 19 markets.
We delivered a resilient performance in H1 23 and made good strategic progress against a tough macro backdrop.
In South Africa, we were very encouraged by the improved network availability on the back of our power-resilience investment, resulting in a stronger Q2 23 performance than Q1 23.Ralph Mupita, President and CEO, MTN Group
By end-June, MTN South Africa’s network availability was more than 90% despite severe electricity shortages across the country.
In Nigeria, we delivered a very strong operational result, having navigated the cash shortages in Q1 23 and increased inflation. The policy changes implemented in Nigeria in Q2 23 have short-term negative impacts, but we see these as being very constructive for the investment climate in the medium to longer term.Ralph Mupita, President and CEO, MTN Group
MTN Group announced robust financial performance with a 15% rise in service revenue, reaching nearly R108 billion in constant-currency terms. The growth was driven by a 24% increase in revenue from data services and a 22% boost in fintech services. Voice services revenue also increased by 6% during the period.
The subscriber base reached 292 million by the end of June 2023, marking a 4% increase from the previous year. Subscribers benefited from lower data rates and improved broadband access, with active data users rising over 7% to almost 140 million. Overall data traffic grew by 19%, and data affordability improved, with the average effective rate per megabyte decreasing by more than 22%.
To support the digital economy, MTN Group invested R17.2 billion in capital expenditure in the first half of 2023, enhancing networks and platforms across Africa. The balance sheet remained strong, with key metrics within loan covenant limits.
Adjusted headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose by 25% to 749 cents, and adjusted return on equity (ROE) increased by one percentage point to 24.4%, aligning with medium-term guidance.
MTN Group’s Fintech business expanded rapidly, witnessing a 37% increase in transaction volume to 8.3 billion, executed by 61 million active MoMo customers. Commercial agreements with Mastercard were established to support the growth of fintech business’s payments and remittance services, with a minority investment by Mastercard in Group Fintech expected.
Furthermore, MTN Group progressed in simplifying its portfolio, with plans to exit Afghanistan through the sale of its entire shareholding to Investcom AF, an affiliate company of M1. The transaction awaits final regulatory approval from the Afghanistan Regulatory Authority.
As we manage the challenges in our operating environment, as well as the near-term impacts on our top-line and margins, we maintain our medium-term guidance.Ralph Mupita, President and CEO, MTN Group