Revenue for the group increased 12 per cent to 136.4 million rand for the year ended 31 December 2013, from a 3.1 per cent increase to 121.8 million rand in the comparative period in 2012.
“This increase was positively impacted by a weakening of the rand against a number of currencies in which our businesses operate. For the year as a whole, the rand declined by 18.3 per cent on average against the US dollar,” [DATA MTN:MTN group] said in a statement.
Group data revenue, excluding SMS, also increased 41.4 per cent to 20.6 million rand, and its contribution to total revenue was 15.1 per cent, 3.1 percentage points higher than the prior year.
South Africa and Nigeria were the largest contributors to data revenue growth, accounting for 77.9 per cent of the group’s total data revenue.
Group earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation increased by 13 per cent to 59.7 million rand excluding the profit on tower sales. This is from 52.6 million rand in the previous comparative period.
Headline earnings per share also increased 27.3 per cent to 1,386 cents, and a gross final dividend of 665 cents per share for the period to 31 December 2013 has been declared.
“Group subscribers increased by 9.8 per cent to 207.8 million, notwithstanding ongoing subscriber registration programmes in a number of markets. Subscriber growth was supported by competitive segmented offerings and improved network quality and capacity in many markets,” the group explained.
Voice revenue contributed 75.5 per cent of total revenue. Voice however continued to face pressure as a result of aggressive price competition and lower mobile termination rates, which caused a decrease of 1.8 percentage points in its contribution to overall revenue.
MTN recently announced plans to take South African communication regulator ICASA to court over proposed slashing of mobile termination rates.
(READ MORE: MTN to take ICASA to court over rate cuts)
Outgoing voice revenue increased by 12.3 per cent compared to the prior year and contributed 64.2 per cent of total revenue. Performance was negatively impacted by price competition in key markets.
Group interconnect revenue declined by 4.4 per cent from 12.9 per cent in the previous year, following a cut in termination rates in our Nigerian and South African operations.
MTN’s Nigeria operations however brought in the highest revenue, at 48.1 million rand from 38.6 million rand in the previous year, followed by the group’s South Africa operations with 39.7 million rand, but this was however a decline from 41.3 million rand in the previous year.
The group’s large and small opco clusters delivered 11 per cent and 7.5 per cent growth respectively, with particularly encouraging growth reported by our operations in Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Sudan, Yemen and Zambia.
Revenue for the group’s Iran operation was recorded at 9.5 million rand, a significant decline from 12.1 million rand in the previous year.
“We continue to explore opportunities to expand our product offering outside of traditional voice, and expect to increase our presence in the digital space by leveraging technology and maximising the opportunity of low internet penetration in our markets,” the group said.