MTN Nigeria Communications PLC (MTNN), the Nigerian operation of Johannesburg-based wireless carrier MTN Group, said its profit January through June stood at N141.8 billion, approaching the figure reported for that period last year on the strength of market-wide buoyancy in data sales.

The record buoyancy – traceable to 2020 when life behind door, occasioned by the pandemic outbreak, deepened the hunger for data in Africa’s biggest economy – helped lift the revenue of the telecom heavyweight from N638.1 billion to N791.3 billion.

MTNN, currently Nigeria’s biggest public company, achieved that feat at a time it lost 7.6 million subscribers out of its mobile customer base, and highlighted regulatory curbs guiding new SIM sales and activations as the principal factor in its earnings report issued Friday.

Also strengthening earnings was voice revenue, which jumped 13.1 per cent to N487.7 billion.

“The impact on voice revenue from the industry-wide suspension of new SIM registration was partly offset by higher usage in our active SIM base as well as migration to a higher quality of experience,” MTNN said in a separate document seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

Pre-tax profit grew to N215.1 billion, 54.1 per cent higher than its mid-year figure for last year, while profit for the period climbed 49.5 per cent to N141.827 billion.

The MTN Group controls 35 per cent of the entire telecoms market in Nigeria, which contributes $1 of every $3 made by the company in its 20 countries of operation.

Karl Toriola, CEO MTN Nigeria

“2021 marks the 20th anniversary of MTN’s presence in Nigeria,” said CEO Karl Toriola.

“Following MTN Group’s stated intention to sell down up to 14% of its investment in MTN Nigeria, subject to market conditions over the medium-term, MTN Nigeria’s shareholders approved an equity shelf programme at the last Annual General Meeting.”

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