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MTN GROUP LIMITED - Quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2022 and B-BBEE annual compliance report

Release Date: 13/05/2022 07:05
Code(s): MTN     PDF:  
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Quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2022 and B-BBEE annual compliance report

MTN Group Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number 1994/009584/06)
(Share code MTN)
(ISIN: ZAE000042164)
(MTN or the Company or the Group)

Quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2022 and B-BBEE annual
compliance report

MTN is a pan-African mobile operator with the strategic intent of ‘Leading digital solutions for Africa’s
progress’. We have 276 million customers in 19 markets and are inspired by our belief that everyone
deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.

-    Group service revenue grew by 15.9%
         o Group voice revenue up by 2.6%
         o Group data revenue up by 37.3%
         o Group fintech revenue up by 21.2%
-    Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up by 21.1%
-    Group EBITDA margin improved to 46.4% (from 44.2%)
-    MTN South Africa service revenue up by 4.6%, with an EBITDA margin of 39.9% (from 39.8%)
-    MTN Nigeria service revenue up by 22.0%, with an EBITDA margin of 54.6% (from 53.1%)
-    Subscribers increased by 3.2% to 276.2 million, impacted by new SIM registration regulations in
     Nigeria (excluding Nigeria, subscribers were up by 3.9%)
-    Active data subscribers increased by 13.1% to 125.6 million
-    Active Mobile Money (MoMo) customers increased by 25.9% to 58.7 million
-    MoMo value of transactions up by 12.6% to US$59.9 billion (up by 18.9% in constant currency)
-    Medium-term guidance is maintained

Unless otherwise stated, financial and non-financial growth rates are presented on a constant currency basis and are year-on-year (YoY,
3M to March 2022 vs 3M to March 2021). To enable like-for-like comparability, all growth rates for non-financials have been restated to
exclude MTN Syria and MTN Yemen, which were deconsolidated from 25 February 2021 and 31 October 2021 respectively.

Service revenue excludes device and SIM card revenue. Data revenue is mobile and fixed access data and excludes roaming and wholesale.
Fintech includes MoMo, insurance, airtime lending and e-commerce. Active data users is a count of all subscribers at a point in time which
had a revenue generating event in the specified period of time (90 days) prior to that point in time and also during the past 30 days had data
usage greater than or equal to 5 megabytes. MoMo users are 30-day active users.

Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita comments:
Challenging operating environment
“The MTN Group delivered a solid Q1 2022 performance, with double-digit service revenue growth and
the expansion of EBITDA margins supported by the focused execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy.
This was delivered in a challenging macroeconomic environment in which we continued to navigate
the impacts of COVID-19. Many of our markets have also experienced rising inflation and interest rates,
and pressure on consumer spending driven by recent global events impacting food and energy prices
in particular.

Monetary and fiscal positions in many of the countries we operate in were challenged during the
period, resulting in currency weakness against the US dollar. Additionally supply chains experienced
disruptions, and to mitigate the risks of network rollout we accelerated capital expenditure in the
quarter under review.

In South Africa, loadshedding from the national grid has impacted network availability and we have
had to increase investment in batteries ahead of the winter period when we anticipate that the risk of
loadshedding may remain high.

Solid financial and operational performance in Q1
MTN Group’s service revenue came in ahead of medium-term targets and grew by 15.9%. Group
EBITDA increased by 21.1%, with the EBITDA margin expanding by 2.2 percentage points (pp) to 46.4%.
This performance was supported by service revenue growth at our large operations, which was
delivered in line with medium-term targets, and the disciplined execution of our expense efficiency

In the quarter, the Group grew subscriber numbers by 3.2% YoY to 276.2 million, which was impacted
by new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria. Excluding this impact, subscribers increased by 3.9%.
MTN Nigeria, however, added 1.7 million subscribers during Q1, demonstrating good momentum on
the 1 million in net additions reported for Q4 2021. MTN Nigeria is assisting with providing IT hardware
resources to support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) with accelerating
National Identity Number (NIN) validations.

In driving our industry-leading connectivity business, we recorded voice revenue growth of 2.6%.
Data revenue grew by 37.3% driven by structurally higher demand for data services evidenced by the
growth in data usage and active data users of 45.4% and 13.1% YoY, respectively.

In terms of our platforms, fintech revenue rose by 21.2% YoY. MoMo active monthly users grew by
25.9% YoY and the volume of transactions processed through our fintech platform was up 32.5% in Q1
2022 YoY to 2.9 billion transactions. The value of transactions increased by 12.6% YoY to US$59.9
billion (up 18.9% in constant currency). New commission-earning rules were implemented in Ghana
during Q3 2021 to improve margins, which impacted transaction value. Adjusting for this, the
underlying transaction value grew by 34.0% in constant currency terms.

The number of active merchants accepting MoMo payments increasing by 46.8% YoY to 765 211 and
the total value of MoMo merchant payments rose by 125.2% YoY to US$4.3 billion. The total value of
remittances grew by 7.4% YoY to US$573.9 million in Q1 2022; in addition, we facilitated a total loan
value of US$280.4 million, a 27.8% increase YoY. At the end of Q1 2022, our InsurTech platform had
17.4 million registered aYo policies, reflecting growth of 37.8% YoY

In April 2022, our fintech subsidiary in Nigeria received final approval of a MoMo Payment Service Bank
(PSB) licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This will enable us to invest in the launch and
rollout of PSB and offer a broader range of services in line with the CBN’s guidelines. We are committed

to supporting the government of Nigeria to fulfil its agenda of driving digital and financial inclusion.
We plan to commercially launch PSB services before the end of Q2 2022.

Strong balance sheet and liquidity positions
The further deleveraging of our balance sheet is progressing well. Group leverage of 0.3x, was down
from 0.4x as at 31 December 2021, comfortably within covenant limits. Holding company (Holdco)
leverage remained within our medium-term target and improved further to 0.9x, from 1.0x as at 31
December 2021. We maintained a strong liquidity position, with headroom of R53.2 billion (R20.6
billion in cash, and R32.6 billion in committed undrawn facilities) as at 31 March 2021.

We upstreamed dividends and management fees amounting to R2.9 billion in Q1, including
R643 million from Nigeria. Post the period-end, we upstreamed an additional R708 million of proceeds
from the MTN Nigeria Series 1 public offer. This is a key milestone in the execution of our asset
realisation programme (ARP), as we pursue our commitment to further localise the shareholding in
MTN Nigeria.

We were pleased to note Moody’s Investor Services’ recent upgrade, on 6 April 2022, to our credit
rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ reflecting our strong financial performance and reduction in

We continued to invest in our ‘second-to-none’ networks and technology platforms, deploying
R7.0 billion of capex in Q1. We were pleased to secure permanent high-demand spectrum in MTN
South Africa (MTN SA) and paid R3.3 billion in April 2022 for the mid-band allotment of spectrum. This
will enable us to ramp up investment to increase coverage, including 5G offering, and to support data
traffic growth.

MTN Group achieves Level 1 B-BBEE Contributor Status
We are pleased that, in a major transformation milestone, MTN Group has for the first time achieved
Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Contributor Status. This is up from Level
2 in 2020. The rating, dated 10 May 2022, was for the financial year ended 31 December 2021. MTN
SA maintained its Level 1 Contributor Status, for the third year running.

Group medium-term guidance maintained
Looking ahead, we anticipate that our markets will be impacted by the global trends of higher interest
rates and energy and food price inflation. Geopolitical volatility exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine
is further impacting these trends and affecting currencies, asset prices and supply chains

On current macro-economic and operating assumptions, we anticipate these factors to slightly
moderate our EBITDA margin evolution in the short-term. This is particularly when considering the
additional investment in Nigeria to accelerate NIN enrolment and verification, the launch of PSB
services in Nigeria and higher energy related expenses where we have pass-through costs in Towerco

We remain focused on executing our Ambition 2025 strategy to drive growth, continue implementing
our expense efficiency programme, deleverage the Holdco balance sheet faster and unlock value for
our stakeholders. Our capex guidance for FY 2022 is unchanged at R34.4 billion and we are maintaining
our Group enhanced medium-term guidance framework.
The Group’s results and segmental report are presented in line with the Group’s operational structure. The Group’s underlying operations
are clustered as follows: South Africa (SA), Nigeria, the Southern and East Africa (SEA) region, the West and Central Africa (WECA) region and
the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and their respective underlying operations.

The SEA region includes Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Botswana (joint venture-equity accounted), eSwatini (joint venture-equity
accounted) and Business Group. The WECA region includes Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Congo-Brazzaville, Liberia, Guinea
Conakry and Guinea Bissau. The MENA region includes Iran (joint venture-equity accounted), Sudan and Afghanistan.

In line with the Group’s strategy announced in March 2021, MTN Ghana results have been reported under the WECA region effective 1
January 2021 (previously included in the SEAGHA region). Prior year numbers have been restated for SEA and WECA accordingly.

Although Iran, Botswana and eSwatini form part of their respective regions geographically and operationally, they are excluded from their
respective regional results because they are equity accounted for by the Group.

MTN Syria results have been disclosed up to February for 2021; as a result of loss of control effective February 2021, following MTN Syria
being placed under judicial guardianship. MTN Yemen results have been disclosed up to end of October 2021, as a result of MTN’s decision
to exit the operation.

Certain information presented in this quarterly update constitutes pro forma financial information. The responsibility for preparing and
presenting the pro forma financial information and for the completeness and accuracy of the pro forma financial information is that of the
directors of MTN. This is presented for illustrative purposes only. Because of its nature, the pro forma financial information may not fairly
present MTN’s financial position, changes in equity, and results of operations or cash flows. It has not been audited or reviewed or otherwise
reported on by our external joint auditors. The financial information on which this quarterly update is based, including constant currency
information, has not been reviewed and reported on by MTN’s external auditors. Constant currency information has been presented to
remove the impact of movement in currency rates on the Group’s results and has been calculated by translating the prior financial reporting
period’s results at the current period’s average rates. The measurement has been performed for each of the Group’s currencies, materially
being that of the US dollar and Nigerian naira. The constant currency growth percentage has been calculated based on the prior period
constant currency results compared to the current year results. In addition, in respect of MTN Irancell, MTN Sudan and MTN South Sudan the
constant currency information has been prepared excluding the impact of hyperinflation. The economies of Sudan, South Sudan and Iran
were assessed to be hyperinflationary for the period under review and hyperinflation accounting was applied.

This quarterly update may contain forward-looking information. Any forecast information on which the quarterly update may be based has
not been reviewed or reported on by the Group’s external auditors.

Navigating an increasingly volatile macroeconomic environment
We continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 in our markets with our response plan in place which
focuses on the same areas that we have extensively reported on previously. These areas are social
(our people, communities and stakeholders); commercial (including our customers); network and
supply chain; and funding and liquidity.

We have seen an increase in macroeconomic volatility with rising fuel and food inflation, as well as
local currency depreciation, feeding into many of our markets and compounding the pressure being
felt by consumers. The Russia-Ukraine war has exacerbated these effects with additional stress on
supply chains.

In terms of social impacts, we are working on interventions and support in addition to our ongoing
programmes. To safeguard our operations, we continue to manage inflationary risks through our
expense efficiency programme and disciplined capital allocation. We had to increase pricing slightly in
some markets, such as South Africa, to ensure the sustainability of the business. We will continue to
offer competitive, quality services to our customers.

In terms of supply chain, comprehensive risk mitigation strategies have been in place for a number of
years. We continue to enhance these to ensure that orders for equipment and supplies are secured
early, with enhancements to procurement agreements to ensure availability across all our markets.
These include discussions with our Towerco partners to manage the resilience of our networks; we
have put in place plans to advance capex and fuel orders.

We have reduced foreign debt in our markets and at Holdco, which remains a focus, to insulate our
balance sheet from exchange rate volatility. Deleveraging is a core objective of Ambition 2025 and we
have also built up a strong liquidity position to provide us with flexibility to withstand any further

Operational review
MTN South Africa
MTN SA recorded a healthy performance in Q1 with service revenue increasing by 4.6% in line with
our medium-term guidance. This result was supported by solid commercial and operational execution
yielding service revenue growth in all the core business units: the prepaid consumer business unit
(CBU) up 1.5%; the postpaid CBU up 4.4%; the enterprise business unit (EBU) up 23.1%; and the
wholesale business up 1.9%.

This performance shows the resilience of the business, against the backdrop of a challenging
macroeconomic environment, with a rapidly rising unemployment rate, and increased pressure on
consumer disposable income. This environment has contributed to a notable shift in customer
spending patterns and greater competition for share of the consumer’s wallet.

MTN SA closed the quarter with a total of 34.5 million subscribers, an increase of 7.1%, driven by
higher gross additions. The postpaid subscriber base continued to expand, with an increase of 7.4% to
7.5 million on the back of solid growth in integrated voice and data-centric plans. There was a 7.0%
increase in prepaid subscribers to 27.0 million.

MTN SA’s drive to grow mobile data revenue led to data traffic growth of 46.7% and a 14.1% increase
in active data users to 17.3 million. This underpinned a 14.3% increase in overall mobile data revenue.

Data was made more affordable in the quarter with a 22.8% YoY reduction in the effective data tariff.
An active prepaid data subscriber now consumes an average of 4.0GB of data a month, up 37% YoY,
and an active postpaid data subscriber uses nearly 11.8GB per month, an increase of 20%.

The consumer postpaid business delivered a resilient performance with service revenue growth of
4.4% benefiting from data-oriented packages.

The strong growth in data revenue also supported the consumer prepaid business’ performance with
service revenue up by 1.5%. Pressure from the offset of voice substitution remains a challenge and
MTN SA continues to focus on ERM optimisation initiatives to reduce this impact. MTN SA’s prepaid
segment was also impacted by economic pressure, including job losses, particularly in the lower-
income consumer segment.

The enterprise business recorded a 23.1% increase in service revenue, driven by sustained growth in
data deals, Bulk SMS and the ICT business. The core mobile business continues to gain market share,
with sustained distribution channel expansion and strong products propositions. In 2021, MTN SA was
appointed as a service provider to the national government under the national treasury transversal
contracts, enabling an expansion of our mobile service offerings to public sector entities through the
leveraging of MTN’s strong network quality.

Wholesale revenue increased by 1.9%, supported by national roaming deals with Cell C and Telkom.
For Cell C, revenue recognition remains on a cash basis as Cell C works towards its recapitalisation.
MTN SA recognised R643 million (down 4.7% YoY) in national roaming revenue from Cell C and a
balance of R400 million remained unrecognised, as at 31 March 2022.

The new multi-year national roaming agreement with Telkom, which came into effect on 1 November
2021, continues to scale steadily and MTN SA is focused on further enablement of infrastructure
sharing through our investment in the expansion of network capacity.

The performance of the fintech business was encouraging with approximately 5.0 million registered
MoMo users and 840 043 monthly active users by 31 March 2022. MTN SA also progressed work on
MoMo partnerships to accelerate the growth of the business. The platform continues to grow
transactions driven by innovative and relevant solutions.

MTN SA reported EBITDA of R4.9 billion (up 3.7% YoY) with as slight increase in the EBITDA margin to
39.9% (up 0.1pp), supported by a solid service revenue performance and disciplined execution of the
expense efficiency programme.

Network availability and quality has been affected by loadshedding from the national grid, as well as
ongoing theft and vandalism of towers since Q4 2021. To mitigate these impacts, MTN SA rolled out a
comprehensive resilience plan including additional batteries, generators and enhanced security
features. We are committed to ensuring the quality of our customers’ connectivity experience.

Pleasingly, MTN SA secured high-demand spectrum to support the expansion of 4G and 5G services,
with total permanent spectrum holdings rising from 76MHz to 176MHz and payment of R3.3 billion
was made in April 2022 for mid-band spectrum. The spectrum has been allotted for a 20-year period
on a technology-neutral basis.

Since the award of temporary spectrum in 2020, MTN SA has ramped up its investment to increase
network coverage, improve speeds and enhance the overall customer experience. MTN SA has also
invested in an expansion drive into rural and peri-urban areas and a major 5G rollout, reaching a
population coverage of 15%.

MTN SA will continue to use the spectrum to expand 4G and 5G connectivity, as well as capacity, to
entrench its position as South Africa’s best network while further enhancing rural, peri-urban, and
urban network coverage. The spectrum allocation will allow for greater value for customers,
supporting a lower cost to communicate as we work to bridge the digital divide.

MTN SA retained its top position as the country’s most valuable brand in the 2022 Brand Finance
South Africa survey. For the eighth consecutive year, MTN SA maintained its leadership position with
its brand value increasing by 34% to R59.8 billion.

In mid-April 2022, the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa felt the effects of heavy rainfall
causing floods in many parts of KZN. In addition to the impact on lives and livelihoods, the floods
caused extensive damage to infrastructure and power outages. A total of more than 500 MTN sites
were down in the province. MTN SA activated contingency plans and has since restored to full capacity
around 90% of the affected sites. We continue to work to fully restore connectivity.

To support the people and municipalities in KZN hit the hardest by the floods, MTN SA donated a total
of R1 million in of food parcels and blankets. To assist families and friends to keep in touch during this
difficult time, MTN SA also provided free three-day SMS bundles to over seven million customers in

MTN SA’s performance outlook will be shaped by macroeconomic conditions in the country such as
loadshedding as well as current global macroeconomic uncertainties which are expected to add to
inflationary pressures, including on costs and availability of food and fuel. This will further impact
consumer spending power and patterns.

MTN SA is focused on accelerating its high growth business areas, with ongoing emphasis on the
overall expense efficiency programme to deliver strong EBITDA and cash flow growth.

MTN Nigeria
MTN Nigeria recorded a solid Q1 2022 performance, tracking positively against its medium-term
targets, with 22.0% growth in service revenue and the expansion of EBITDA margins. This was
delivered through solid commercial momentum and execution in challenging trading conditions.

Voice revenue grew by 8.6%, driven by an increase in gross connections and higher usage from the
active SIM base. This was enabled by expanded customer acquisition touchpoints, rural telephony
initiatives and an enhanced customer value management (CVM) toolkit, reducing the impact of the
SIM registration and activation restrictions.
Data revenue rose by 54.0%, maintaining the accelerated growth trajectory through growth in the
subscriber base and data usage. This was sustained by an aggressive 4G network expansion and
enhanced quality and capacity of our network to support rising data traffic. Data traffic rose by 84.8%
YoY and usage (MB per user) was up by 69.8%.

In addition, MTN Nigeria added about a million new smartphones to its network in Q1, bringing
smartphone penetration to 50.0%. The 4G network now covers 71.7% of the population, up from
70.3% in December 2021.

Home broadband penetration remains a focus for MTN Nigeria, reaching over 775 000 users, up by
over 160 000 in Q1. The goal is to Own the Home through differentiated value propositions, creating
experiences that position MTN Nigeria as the broadband service provider of choice. This will be
achieved by leveraging its unique assets and capabilities to capture a significant share of market

Fintech revenue rose by 46.7% on the back of the growing adoption of fintech services and an
expanded user base. The MoMo agent network continues to widen with more than 800k registered
agents and over 166k active agents (agents who perform a minimum of ten revenue-generating
transactions within 30 days).

Having established a significant foundation of registered agent network, the focus is now on scaling
the active base. Agent services have been extended to include card withdrawal services by deploying
point of sales (POS) terminals to the agent network. This has contributed to growing total volume of
transactions to over 56.1 million, up 132.7% YoY, by more than 10.7 million active users (up 135.2%).

MTN Nigeria’s fintech subsidiary received final approval of a MoMo PSB licence from the CBN. This
will enable the Operating company (Opco) to invest in the launch and rollout of PSB and offer a
broader range of services, with a planned commercial launch before the end of Q2 2022.

Digital revenue grew by 37.4% as penetration of digital products continued to deepen, driven by
increased usage from the active base. Digital subscriptions were up by 164.1% YoY to 7.4 million, with
ayoba accounting for 45% of the subscriptions and Rich Media accounting for 55%.

Revenue from digital services was driven by Rich Media, Mobile Advertising and Content VAS. The
Y’ello Digital Platforms are being transformed into a one-stop destination that caters to all consumer

Revenue from the enterprise business rose by 34.0%, underpinned by the onboarding of new
customers across segments and the uptake of our enhanced services. The enterprise business is
transitioning from product to platform while leveraging core mobile and fixed connectivity to serve
customers across all segments better.

MTN Nigeria has commenced executing programmes to digitise and transform micro, small and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. Key among these is developing a cloud technology
marketplace to empower, educate and enrich MSMEs. The goal is to drive further adoption of
enterprise platforms (internet of things and cloud), creating additional value for our customers and
enabling them to innovate while remaining profitable.
MTN Nigeria progressed with the expense efficiency programme and remained disciplined with capital
allocation. As a result, the Opco contained the 18.3% increase in operating expenses below the rate
of inflation in Nigeria. This was achieved despite the continued effects of naira depreciation on lease
rental costs and acceleration in site rollout. Consequently, MTN Nigeria’s ability to drive operating
leverage has enabled EBITDA growth of 25.7% and the expansion of EBITDA margin by 1.5pp to 54.6%.

Southern and East Africa (SEA)
The SEA region delivered service revenue growth of 12.7% for the quarter, supported by top-line
growth in most markets despite challenging trading conditions including muted economic recovery
and higher inflation. The region’s performance reflected strong growth in data revenue (up 35.6%)
and fintech revenue (up 26.8%). The SEA region increased subscriber numbers by 2.8% YoY to 34.8

MTN Uganda recorded service revenue growth of 11.1%. This was driven by solid growth in data
revenue (up 45.1%) and fintech revenue (up 21.0%) resulting from increased usage and subscriber
base growth. Voice revenue (down 4.6%) was adversely impacted by customers’ disposable incomes
coming under pressure from rising inflation. Despite the tough trading conditions, the Opco delivered
EBITDA margin expansion of 0.4pp to 51.6% on the back of revenue growth and the effective
implementation of expense efficiencies.

MTN Rwanda delivered strong service revenue growth of 24.5%, supported by healthy growth in
fintech revenue (up 56.8%), data revenue (up 13.2%) and voice revenue (up 11.8%). MTN Rwanda
reported an EBITDA margin of 47.7%, down 3.7pp. This was impacted mainly by higher data cost of
sales from higher 4G uptake as well as the introduction of an outsourced modernised Network
Operating Centre to manage the monitoring of our network, boost the user experience and reduce
the volume of customer complaint calls.

Overall the SEA portfolio reported a 1.3pp decrease in the blended EBITDA margin to 46.0% in Q1

The results of our associate investment in eSwatini reflected increased pressure on voice and data in
a challenging economic environment, amid increased competition and return-to-office work, which
reduced demand for data. Plans are in place to accelerate demand through CVM and competitive

West and Central Africa (WECA)
Despite the challenging trading environment, the WECA region delivered a pleasing performance for
the quarter with service revenue growth of 17.0%. The strong performance was enabled by an uptake
of data services. Fintech revenue remained resilient despite aggressive pricing strategies from
competitors in some markets. The region’s performance also benefitted from a 8.2% increase in the
subscriber base to 70.2 million. WECA delivered a blended EBITDA margin of 43.5%, up by 2.3pp,
mainly driven by MTN Ghana.

MTN Ghana’s Q1 performance is testament to the resilience of the business to withstand a challenging
macro-economic environment including increases in fuel prices and general inflation as well as local
currency depreciation.
Service revenue grew by 34.7%, largely attributable to growth in voice, data and fintech. This
performance was underpinned by the continued execution of the Ambition 2025 strategy and
sustained investments to support improvements in service quality and the expansion of network
capacity and coverage.

An increase in active data users and usage led to an increase of 65.3% in data revenue. Fintech revenue
grew by 27.1%, supported by higher active MoMo users. The EBITDA margin increased by 5.0pp to
59.7% on the back of the strong growth in the topline and the implementation of the expense
efficiency programme.

MTN Côte d’Ivoire’s performance came under pressure with service revenue slightly down by 0.7%
largely impacted by the decline in fintech revenue (down 38.4%) due to zero-rating of person-to-
person (P2P) and price reductions for withdrawals driven by intensified competition in the market
during H2 2021. This helped to accelerate user and usage growth in Q4 2021, with that momentum
continuing Q1 2022 during which over 506 000 users were added in Côte d’Ivoire. The business
remains on a strong foundation to grow over the medium-term.

The decline in fintech revenue in Q1 was mitigated by a strong performance in data revenue, which
grew by 24.9%, underpinned by initiatives to accelerate data penetration and usage. Encouragingly,
the Opco continued to gain value share in the market. The EBITDA margin declined by 1.3pp to 33.0%
due to the decline in the topline while maintaining the same commissions to the distribution network
in fintech.

MTN Cameroon recorded service revenue growth of 12.9% in a challenging environment where the
Opco leads on market and value share. This performance was supported by sustained growth in active
data users and ongoing CVM initiatives which led to growth in data revenue (up 30.8%). Revenue
growth in fintech (up 19.9%) and digital (up 28.1%) also aided overall service revenue growth. The
EBITDA margin declined by 2.7pp to 33.7%, impacted by management fees and provisions for taxes
on MoMo transfers and withdrawals.

Excluding MTN Ghana, the WECA markets grew service revenue by 6.7%, which remained ahead of
blended inflation of 4.7%, with a 1.8pp decline in EBITDA margin to 31.5% in Q1 2022 largely reflecting
the pressure in MTN Côte d’Ivoire and MTN Cameroon.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
The MENA region delivered a strong performance with service revenue growth of 83.4% (excluding
MTN Irancell) notwithstanding tough macroeconomic conditions including currency devaluation,
inflationary impacts, sustained higher oil prices and higher food prices as well as food shortages. The
region’s performance was mainly supported by strong growth in data revenue and an increase in
active data users. The total number of subscribers (excluding MTN Irancell) was 15.2 million.

MTN Sudan increased service revenue by 261.9%, underpinned by growth in voice (up 200.8%) and
data (up 387.9%) revenue on the back of increased voice and data prices. The EBITDA margin
expanded by 17.4pp to 51.4%, driven by strong growth in revenue as well as savings in maintenance
MTN Irancell, our equity-accounted joint venture, delivered solid results through strong commercial
execution of various initiatives. Service revenue grew by 26.6%, supported by increased data revenue.
The EBITDA margin expanded by 3.6pp to 42.8% driven by strong revenue growth and expense

This result was delivered in a challenging environment where the Russia-Ukraine war is impacting the
growth and economic development of the country. While the GDP of the country stands to benefit
from the increased oil and gas prices, rising inflation will place pressure on the consumer.

The Iran Internet Group’s ride-hailing app, Snapp, remained the market leader, ranking among the
top ride-hailing apps globally with over three million daily rides. Snapp Box is the leading last-mile
delivery network in the country. Market-leading food delivery app Snappfood orders grew by 61.0%
YoY to almost 260 000 daily orders. Snapp Market orders grew by 88.9% YoY and remains the leading
supermarket delivery app in the country.

Building the largest and most valuable fintech platform
We continue to scale and accelerate our fintech ecosystem across our markets with a 32.5% increase
in transaction volumes to 2.9 billion transactions in Q1, with the value of transactions up by 12.6% to
US$59.9 billion (up 18.9% in constant currency). This includes the impact of new commission-earning
rules which were implemented in Ghana during Q3 2021, adjusting for which, underlying transaction
value growth would have been 34.0% in constant currency terms.

We responded to competitive pressures in Cote d’Ivoire by reducing P2P and withdrawals pricing,
which affected service revenue development. However we are encouraged by the user growth
recovery we have seen in Q1 2022 in that market. We remain confident of our recovery plan in Cote
d’Ivoire where we anticipate fintech service revenue to be back in growth by Q4 2022 driven by user
growth and the launch of advanced services. Overall fintech service revenue grew by 21.1% in
Q1 2022. We are driving recurring usage with a focus on new product launches to grow advanced
services in line with our strategy.

There was strong traction in growing our payments and e-commerce ecosystem, leveraging our
strength in distribution. The number of active merchants accepting MoMo payments increased by
46.8% to 765 211 and the total value of MoMo merchant payments rose by 125.2% US$4.3 billion. We
will continue the roll-out of self-onboarding of merchants to entrench the momentum and growth in
our payments and e-commerce vertical.

We facilitated a total loan value of US$280.4 million, a 27.8% YoY increase, taking advantage of our
scaled mobile wallet business and customer footprint. The total value of remittances grew by 7.4%
YoY to US$573.9 million in Q1 2022.

At the end of Q1 2022, our InsurTech platform had 17.4 million registered aYo policies, reflecting
growth of 37.8% YoY. Active policies reduced by 31.1% YoY due to a shift in the strategy to focus on a
higher average revenue per policy and new revenue streams, particularly in Uganda, resulting in the
termination of free policies. Active policy growth was also impacted by platform migration and
integration challenges as we shifted to a proprietary infrastructure. In the year ahead we anticipate a
return to growth in active paid policies with higher average revenue per policy.

The final approval of a MoMo PSB licence in Nigeria by the CBN will enable us to invest in the launch,
before the end of Q2 2022, and rollout of PSB and offer a broader range of services. In terms of                                                                                                    
partnerships, our joint venture (JV) with Sanlam is undergoing regulatory approvals across the various
markets we operate in and we anticipate launching the JV in early H2 2022.

Asset realisation programme (ARP) and portfolio transformation
Our ARP aims to reduce debt, simplify our portfolio, reduce risk and improve returns. MTN’s broader
portfolio transformation plan is to accelerate these goals in line with our focus on pan-Africa, support
our shared value objectives and structure the business to unlock value.

To date, the Group has received net proceeds of R708 million, post the period-end, from the Series 1
MTN Nigeria public offer. For the sale of MTN SA passive tower infrastructure, we are expecting to
receive R5.2 billion in net proceeds from the transaction in Q2 2022.

The further localisation of MTN Ghana is in progress and we have increased our localisation from
17.5% to 18.7% in Q1, with new participation from some local pension funds. The Group has received
cash proceeds of R272 million from this transaction. Post the quarter-end, we concluded a transaction
to localise a further 5% of MTN Ghana, bringing the total localisation to 23.7%. We are committed to
deepen local participation to achieve 30% localisation for MTN Ghana.

We continue to explore options to exit Afghanistan in an orderly manner.

Update on regulatory and legal considerations
High-demand radio frequency in South Africa
To support its 4G and 5G expansion drive, in March 2022, MTN SA secured high-demand radio
frequency spectrum in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) landmark
auction. This increased MTN SA’s total permanent spectrum holdings from 76MHz to 176MHz.

MTN secured 2 x 10MHz of 800MHz, 4 x 10MHz of 2 600MHz and 4 x 10MHz of 3 500MHz for
R5.2 billion, comparing favourably with global benchmark averages. This was the first time in 17 years
that ICASA had released spectrum on a permanent basis, allotting it for 20 years on a technology-
neutral basis. A payment of R3.3 billion was made in April 2022, for the mid-band spectrum. A
payment of R1.9 billion is expected to be made in Q3 2022 for the low-band spectrum.

MTN SA will use the spectrum to expand 4G and 5G connectivity and capacity and further enhance
rural, peri-urban and urban network coverage. The spectrum will also support our work to lower the
cost to communicate.

SIM registration in Nigeria
Following the Nigeria Communications Commission’s (NCC) directive on 4 April 2022 that all operators
in Nigeria should restrict outgoing calls for subscribers whose SIMs are not associated with NINs, MTN
Nigeria implemented the directive on approximately 19 million affected subscribers at that date.
However, subscribers whose outgoing calls were restricted for non-submission of their NINs require
their NINs to be verified before being reactivated.

As at 25 April 2022, about 8.7 million of those restricted submitted their NINs for verification, of which
approximately 1.2 million have been reactivated, many of whom are high-value customers. Outgoing
voice revenue from the subscribers who are yet to be reactivated therefore contributed approximately
7.8% of total service revenue based on FY 2021 for MTN Nigeria.
In terms of how general traffic trends have evolved since the implementation of the directive, MTN
Nigeria saw a drop in traffic following its compliance with the directive. However, as we execute our
NIN recovery initiatives, there has been a gradual turnaround as the affected subscribers are
reconnected to resume voice calls. Data revenue has continued a steady increase but has currently
not fully compensated for the decline in voice revenue of restricted subscribers. Encouragingly, there
has been an acceleration in new connections.

MTN Nigeria continues to engage affected subscribers while providing hardware support for the NIMC
to accelerate the verification of NINs submitted. It has taken significant steps to help drive NIN
enrolment for subscribers who do not yet have a NIN, deploying over 4 200 points of enrolment across
the country. MTN Nigeria has also provided multiple channels to enable customers to submit their
NIN for verification and linkage.

MTN Ghana e-levy
On 29 March 2022, Ghana’s parliament approved the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill. From 1 May 2022,
a 1.5% e-levy will apply to selected electronic transactions of more than GHS100 per customer per day
on Mobile Money, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances.

The levy is a reduction from the 1.75% communicated previously through the 2022 Budget Statement
and Economic Policy of Ghana. To reduce the impact of the levy on customers, from May 2022, MTN
Ghana is reducing fees on P2P transactions by 25%.

MTN Ghana classification as a significant market power
Following the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) 2020 classification of MTN Ghana as a
significant market power, the Opco has now implemented four of the seven ‘SMP remedies’ being
national roaming. MTN Ghana remains in constructive discussions with the NCA on the outstanding

We are encouraged by the healthy performance delivered across our markets in Q1 2022, despite
challenging macro-economic conditions and new regulatory developments. Looking ahead, our
markets will be impacted by rising inflation, currency volatility, increased pressure on disposable
income for consumers and further potential supply chain disruptions.

In this context, our medium-term outlook remains supported by the structurally higher demand for
data and fintech services and MTN is uniquely positioned to capture that growth. Our priority is to
execute on the Ambition 2025 strategy to drive this growth as well as deleverage the Holdco balance
sheet faster and unlock value, as we manage the rising risks and macroeconomic uncertainties we are

We are focused on accelerating growth in MTN SA and MTN Nigeria as we drive to be the industry-
leading connectivity business. In addition to the macroeconomic pressures, MTN SA remains impacted
by the continued disruptions to power supply from Eskom and the residual effects of the recent floods
in the KZN province. . The SA prepaid consumer is under pressure, but we remain committed to drive
overall service revenue growth in line with our medium-term guidance for MTN SA.

The focus in Nigeria will be on driving ongoing growth in the subscriber and revenue base in the
context of prevailing SIM registration restrictions, as well as launching PSB services. While the EBITDA
margin may be impacted in the near-term by these effects, we anticipate continued growth in service
revenue of ‘at least 20%’, as per our medium-term guidance.

Within fintech, during Q1, we implemented new mobile money taxes in Benin and Cameroon; we also
made further P2P pricing adjustments in response to ongoing competition in Côte d’Ivoire to continue
to stimulate user and usage growth. We also implemented the E-levy tax in Ghana and adjusted our
pricing to limit the impact on usage in that market.

While these factors will have an impact on our performance, we remain on course to fulfil our fintech
ambitions and our mission to drive financial inclusion by leveraging our platform data and capabilities.
The final award of the PSB licence in Nigeria is a major milestone and will be key in driving our fintech
growth over the medium-term. We are planning the commercial launch of PSB services before the end
of Q2 2022.

On current macroeconomic conditions and operating assumptions, rising inflation in our markets and
specific interventions and operational investment in markets like Nigeria (NIN enrolments and the
launch of PSB services), are anticipated to slightly dampen our EBITDA margin expansion in the near-

The expense efficiency programme is ongoing and supporting the overall profitability of the business.
We will thus continue to execute on this programme to complement our topline growth in achieving
our objective to drive further EBITDA margin expansion and return improvement over the medium-

In terms of some of our key strategic programmes, the work to structurally separate our fintech and
fibre businesses is ongoing and remains on track.

To achieve the accelerated growth across our operations, the investment in sustaining our ‘second-
to-none’ networks and platforms will remain a priority. To support our objectives, we plan to spend
R34.4 billion in capex in FY 2022, which is unchanged from our previous guidance.

With the outlook for global economic growth remaining uncertain amid the increased geopolitical
volatility, we will remain focused on delivering on our strategy and maintaining our position as a
partner of choice to stakeholders across our markets. Our strategy is robust and we have adequate
adaptability and resilience built into our operating model to weather the uncertainties. We maintain
our enhanced Group medium-term guidance.

B-BBEE annual compliance report – MTN Group and subsidiaries: MTN Group achieves
Level 1 B-BBEE Contributor Status
We are pleased that, in a major transformation milestone, MTN Group has for the first time achieved
Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Contributor Status. This is up from Level
2 in 2020. The rating, dated 10 May 2022, was for the financial year ended 31 December 2021. The B-
BBEE Contributor Status for MTN Group considers both the South African operating entities as well as
the South African group function. MTN SA maintained its Level 1 Contributor Status, for the third year

In accordance with paragraph 16.21(g) and Appendix 1 to Section 11 of the JSE Listings Requirements
and Section 13G(2) of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, the Company’s B-BBEE
compliance certificate and compliance report is available on the Company’s website at

The full financial results are available on the MTN’s website at:

SIM: Subscriber Identity/Identification Module
Business Group: Consist of internet service providers in Namibia, Kenya and Botswana
Towerco: Tower companies
Holdco leverage: Holdco net debt (including MTN GC)/SA EBITDA + cash upstreaming
PSB: Payment service bank
CVM: Customer value management
ERM: Effective rate per minute
MB: Megabyte
GB: Gigabyte

13 May 2022

Lead sponsor

Tamela Holdings Proprietary Limited

Joint sponsor

JP Morgan Equities (SA) Proprietary Limited


Date: 13-05-2022 07:05:00
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