Investors Panic As MTN Nigeria reports ₦137 billion loss

MTN Nigeria reported a loss for the full year 2023, its first in three years, after a Naira devaluation and rising cost of doing business ate into its margins.

The telco reported a loss after tax of ₦137.0 billion in 2023 compared to profits of ₦348.7 billion in 2022.

According to a full-year 2023 report released this morning, payment of tower lease cost—indexed to the US dollar but invoiced and paid in naira—comprised most of its foreign currency exposure in operating expenses.

“In June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adopted a more liberal foreign exchange management system,” said Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria’s CEO. “The cost of doing business in Nigeria, and for MTN Nigeria in particular, significantly increased the costs in relation to our tower leases.”

Key takeaways

  • MTN has 79.7 million mobile subscribers in FY 2023
  •  Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 163% to 5.3 million
  • FinTech revenue grew by 2.4%

MTN Nigeria operates in a high inflationary environment, further worsened by a currency crisis and rising energy costs.

Nevertheless, MTN will  expand its  non-core services, such as Cloud, Unified Communications, and IoT applications, to capture future opportunities. This in addition to its growing 4G and 5G businesses.

“We are actively engaging the regulators to resolve the USSD dispute with banks,” a statement from its financials read.

Mobile services

The telco’s financial statement also reported that its services revenue grew by 22.4%, driven primarily by data revenue growth of 39.8%. Voice revenue was up by 9.7%. The telco’s mobile subscribers increased by 5.3% to 79.7 million, underpinned by increased gross connections and churn management initiatives. Active data users grew by 12.7% to 44.6 million.

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Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 163% to 5.3 million, powered by 326,000 MoMo agents, and 324,000 merchants in its ecosystem.

 

Truetells Nigeria had recently reported that the MoMo service still requires more adoption. However, it announced a partnership with Mastercard yesterday to deepen that aspect. Nonetheless, its digital revenue arm saw a 69.9% increase to ₦37 billion, while its fintech revenue grew by 2.4%.

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