KAMPALA, May 3 (Reuters) – Uganda’s largest telecommunications firm MTN Uganda MTNU.UG said on Tuesday its first-quarter pretax profits jumped by a fifth from the same period of last year, partly boosted by higher data sales.
In the first three months of this year the firm’s pretax profit rose 20.2% to 143.7 billion shillings ($40.65 million) from the same quarter in 2021, as revenue from internet connection data ballooned 45% to 115.6 billion.
“We continued to drive digital inclusion and affordability by reducing the price of our lower-tier internet bundle packages,” the firm said in commentary accompanying the results.
MTN Uganda, which is majority owned by South Africa’s MTN Group MTNJ.J, listed its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) in December after a deeply undersubscribed initial public offering.
Last year, MTN Uganda reported a 6.6% jump in pretax profit compared with the previous period, helped by higher data sales and faster uptake of its fintech services. In Uganda it chiefly competes with a local subsidiary of India’s Bharti Airtel BRTI.NS.
MTN Uganda said the outlook for its business was difficult, clouded partly by the global economic consequences of the war in Ukraine.
“Recent macroeconomic developments point to a more challenging trading environment for our business,” it said.
“Higher inflation of essential commodities and fuel has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which is also putting pressure on supply chains.”
($1 = 3,535.0000 Ugandan shillings)