MTN Group’s 2006 revenues surge 49%

Leading pan-African network operator MTN Group recorded a 49% rise in full year earnings in 2006 toUS$3 billion as a result of its aggressive expansion strategy across the MEA region.

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By  Ronan Shields Published  April 2, 2007

Leading pan-African network operator MTN Group recorded a 49% rise in full year earnings in 2006 toUS$3 billion as a result of its aggressive expansion strategy across the MEA region. MTN posted a 32% rise in sales for the 12 months, with its Investcom subsidiary contributing a further US$830 million to its full year revenues, with overall earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) enjoying a 53% rise from 2005. MTN also stated that its subscriber base reached 40 million in 2006, representing a 73% year-on-year rise, with the Investcom acquisition bolstering its numbers by 8.4 million customers at the initial date of purchase in May 2006. The company also reported that since consolidation, Investcom’s subscriber base grew 34%. Excluding the impact of Investcom, the year-on-year growth in MTN’s EBITDA would have stood at 36%. “I am pleased with our performance in 2006. Our subscriber growth is strong and reflects well on our expansion efforts, especially the acquisition of Investcom,” said MTN group president and CEO, Mr Phuthuma Nhleko. “The continued increase in EBIDTA margin is a positive outcome of the operational efficiency initiatives we have undertaken in the last two years. The solid growth of the Investcom operations in the last six months is consistent with our strategy of applying operational efficiencies in low penetration, high growth markets,” he added. Across the region, MTN’s subscriber base grew by 80% in west and central Africa to 20 million, with its operations in south and east of the continent growing by 27%, in terms of subscribers, to 16 million. In the MENA region MTN’s subscriber base reached 5 million customers in 2006. Speaking about the group’s plans for the forthcoming year, Nhleko confirmed that increasing exposure to emerging markets would continue to be the operator’s top priority and further claimed that MTN was eyeing over 40% year-on-year subscriber growth in 2007. “Our focus for 2007 includes, among others, driving regional synergies, taking advantage of opportunities within the value chain and improving operational efficiency through our least-cost operator strategy. Bedding down the Iran operation remains material to the Group’s performance,” said Nhleko.

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