Johannesburg, South Africa | THE INDEPENDENT | MTN Group has confirmed that it expects to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019.
In a statement as they released their 2018 Annual Results, MTN said the move that is still subject to regulatory approvals, will be achieved via a listing by introduction and will be followed by a public offer once market conditions are conducive.
“Over time, and subject to market conditions, we anticipate that the participation of Nigerians in the ownership of the business will increase from around 20% to 35%,” the statement said.
MTN Group published its financial results for the year ended December 2018 on Thursday and they showed the company has accelerated growth, delivered on dividend and met all its medium-term targets.
Group revenue increased by 10.2%* and service revenue increased by 10.7%*, supported by
growth in MTN Nigeria (up 17.2%*), MTN Ghana (up 23,0%*), MTN South Africa (up 4,2%) and
MTN Uganda (up 8.9%*). MTN Cameroon and MTN Ivory Coast delivered a 7.3%* and 6.6%*
decline in service revenue respectively.
The statement said MTN increased its subscriber base by 16 million to 233 million customers across 21 markets in Africa and the Middle East. The number of active data users increased by 10 million to 79 million and the active mobile money subscriber base rose to 27 million. This strong commercial momentum drove a 10.7% constant currency increase in service revenue to R125,4 billion.
“The service revenue growth rate achieved is ahead of both prior year and our guidance and – more importantly – is above the average rate of inflation in our markets, which means we are delivering real growth in service revenue,” said Rob Shuter, MTN’s group president and CEO.
A final dividend of 325 cents has been declared.
The company overcame several regulatory headwinds in 2018, the most material of which was the Central Bank Central Bank of Nigeria dispute on historical dividend repatriations. This was resolved and MTN announced in December 2018 that they had agreed to implement a notional reversal of the 2008 private placement and consequently made a resolution payment of $53 million.
“We see significant opportunity to grow subscribers and voice revenue as we also execute on the large mobile data opportunity,” said Shuter. “We are also extending our BRIGHT strategy to build MTN into a digital operator with a major focus on the fintech, digital, enterprise and wholesale business areas.”
“Key focus areas for 2019 are the launch of our own music streaming and instant messaging applications and extending MTN mobile money from 14 to 18 countries through launches in South Africa, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Sudan”
Considering the improved performance in 2018 and its growth plans, the group revised its guidance to investors upwards, targeting double-digit growth in service revenue, improved profit margins and capex efficiency and a new target to drive return on equity from 11% to over 20% in the next three to five years.
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting more than 230 million subscribers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa