MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria) has announced its unaudited results for the nine months ended 30 September 2023 indicating that strong revenue growth in the third quarter of 2023 continued to face challenges due to foreign exchange losses.

RELATED: MTN Nigeria adds more spectrum for improved capacity and customer experience

Performance Highlights:

  • On October 30, 2023, MTN Nigeria reported its third-quarter 2023 results, showing robust year-on-year growth of 21.76% to reach N1,772.95  billion.
  • In the third quarter of 2023, direct network operating costs increased by 30.04% year-on-year to N447.60 billion.
  • This increase was mainly due to higher lease rental costs influenced by currency devaluation, rising consumer price index (CPI), energy costs, and the introduction of VAT on tower leases as per the 2023 Finance Act, effective from September 2023.
  • The impact of these increased direct network operating expenses was partially offset by the company’s expense efficiency initiatives.
  • The company’s costs saw double- various  increases in all categories, with value-added services up by 3.86% year-on-year to N17.32 billion, transmission costs surging by 64.9% year-on-year to N3.1 billion, interconnect costs increasing by 8.85% year-on-year to N116.57 billion, and costs related to starter packs, handsets, and accessories rising by 31.50% year-on-year to N20.14 billion
  • Additionally, roaming costs, advertisements, other operating expenses, and discounts and commissions also increased in the third quarter of 2023.
  • Employee costs significantly grew by 38.12% year-on-year to N45.55 billion in the same period.
  • MTNN recorded an operating profit of N608.43 billion in the third quarter of 2023, marking a marginal 13.16% year-on-year growth from N537.68 billion in the third quarter of 2022. Finance income showed a substantial increase of 157.13% year-on-year, reaching N21.12 billion in the third quarter of 2023, primarily due to higher interest income from investments.
  • However, finance costs experienced a significant spike of 172.43% year-on-year, reaching N397.08 from N145.22billion in 2022
  • These finance costs were influenced by the devaluation of the Naira, which changed from N461.10/$1 in December 2022 to N777.00/$1 in September 2023 following a policy change by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
  • Consequently, the profit before tax declined by 41.98% year-on-year, reaching N232.47 billion, compared to N269.04 billion in the third quarter of 2022.
  • The net profit further decreased to N147.36  billion, representing a 45.23% year-on-year decline.
  • Earnings per share stood at N7.06 per share, compared to N12.89 per share in the third quarter of 2022.
  • In the third quarter of 2023, capital expenditure, including right-of-use assets, amounted to N138.2 billion, reflecting a significant year-on-year increase of 105.2% from N67.4 billion in the third quarter of 2022. Consequently, free cash flow decreased by 23.9% year-on-year, reaching N155.3 billion in the third quarter of 2023.
  • On September 12, 2023, MTN Nigeria announced the approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the transfer of 10MHz in the 2.6GHz band from OpenSkys Services to the company.
  • This spectrum license is valid for ten years, running from September 7, 2023, to April 16, 2033, and is expected to enhance MTN Nigeria’s network capacity efficiency.
  • On September 7, 2023, MTN Nigeria announced the reallocation of leases for tower services for approximately 2.5k network sites, which were set to expire in 2024 and 2025.
  • IHS Nigeria Limited (IHS) provided tower services for these sites. Following a transparent and competitive tender process, ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Solutions Limited (ATC) was selected as the preferred tower company to provide tower services for these sites starting in 2025.
  • In August 2023, MTNN signed a $125 million trade facility with Access Bank UK and raised N125 billion through commercial paper issuance, in line with the company’s funding strategy to support capital expenditure.
  • Investors did not react strongly to the third-quarter 2023 results, as the company’s stock only experienced a marginal decline of 0.20% to reach N246.00, in contrast to a 1.45% increase in the All-Share Index on October 30th.
MTN Nigeria Communications Plc Q3’23 Q3’22 % Change
(N’000,000) (N’000,000)
Revenue 1,772,949 1,456,135 21.76
Direct network operating costs -447,601 -333,925 34.04
Value added services costs -17,318 -16,674 3.86
Costs of starter packs, handsets and accessories. -20,135 -15,312 31.50
Interconnect costs -116,168 -106,720 8.85
Roaming costs -6,310 -4,790 31.73
Transmission costs -7,949 -5,691 39.68
Discounts and commissions -85,689 -69,474 23.34
Advertisements, sponsorships and sales promotions -31,088 -21,036 47.78
Employee costs -45,549 -32,882 38.52
Other operating expenses -87,216 -69,066 26.28
Depreciation of property and equipment -156,753 -128,992 21.52
Depreciation of right of use assets -86,991 -75,858 14.68
Amortisation of intangible assets -55,756 -38,036 46.59
Operating profit 608,426 537,679 13.16
Finance income 21,121 8,214 157.13
Finance costs -397,078 -145,220 173.43
Profit before taxation 232,469 400,673 -41.98
Taxation -85,105 -131,634 -35.35
Profit for the period 147,364 269,039 -45.23
Earnings per share 7.06 12.89 -45.23
EBITDA Margin (%) 51.8 56.6
Operating Margin (%) 34.3 36.9 -7.06
Net Profit Margin (%) 8.3 18.5 -55.01


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