By Omobayo Azeez
MTN Nigeria’s profit grew by 38.8 per cent to N202.1 billion in 2019, the company’s full year audited financial report released on Friday has shown.
According to the report, MTN asset valuation grew in the year under review by 62 per cent to N1.526 trillion from N941.74 billion in the comparative period of 2018.
The telecom company declared a final dividend of N4.97 kobo per share as recommended by the board of the company, subject to the approval by its shareholders at the forthcoming annual general meeting (AGM) slated for Friday, May 8 at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos.
In the year ended December 31, 2019, mobile subscribers increased by 6.1 million to reach 64.3 million; active data users increased by 6.5 million to 25.2 million while service revenue increased by 12.6 per cent to N1.2 trillion.
The MTN Group principally generates revenue from providing mobile telecommunications services, such as network services comprising data, voice and SMS; value added services (VAS), digital, interconnect and roaming services, as well as from the sale of mobile devices.
In the report, MTN explained that companies income tax, tertiary education tax and national information technology development fund levy due in the prior years have been duly settled in line with the provisions of relevant tax laws.
It further noted that an aggregate tax expense of N87.99 billion, 16.3 per cent higher than December 2018’s N75.66 billion, has been recognised in the consolidated statement of profit or loss covering the period January to December 2019.
Commenting on the results Ferdi Moolman, MTN Nigeria’s chief executive officer, said the company closed the year with 132 cities covered by 4G and became the first mobile network operator in West Africa to demonstrate the capability of 5G technology.
He said the company had made significant progress in resolving the dispute with the attorney general of the federation on the adequacy of taxes and duties paid.
“We have discontinued the legal action against the AGF following the transfer of the matter to the relevant authorities and look forward to a final resolution. We have always fulfilled our tax obligations and remain committed to maintaining good relationships with all regulatory authorities,” Moolman added.
“In total, we added 6.1 million new subscribers to our network in 2019. Although the last quarter is usually seasonally strong, service revenue growth (14 per cent) in Q4 outpaced the seasonal effect.
“In the third quarter, we focused on several initiatives to enhance coverage and drive data usage penetration. These initiatives include optimising frequencies, expanding our 4G network coverage with over 6,000 additional sites leveraging 800MHz spectrum and repositioning our commercial data offerings.
“It is pleasing to note that the promising results we reported at the end of Q3 2019 accelerated in the fourth quarter. Corresponding with the increase in our active data subscriber net additions by 2.9 million in Q4 2019, our 4G population coverage rose by 8.4pp to 43.8 per cent, giving people in 68 additional cities access to 4G.”
He reiterated the commitment of the company to investing N600 billion in Nigeria in the next three years for improvement and expansion of its network across Nigeria.