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MTN revenues grow 9% in 2009

By The Independent Team

South Africa and East Africa segment posts 6% loss

MTN Group last week announced an increase in revenue and subscribers for the year ended 31 December 2009, they however admitted a negative impact due to the economic crisis, the introduction of new regulations such as SIM registration and foreign currency translations.

Better distribution and a focus on segmental product offerings were other contributory factors. As a result, subscribers increased by 28.0% to 116.0 million for the period under review, indicating a continuing demand for mobile services in countries where mobile penetration is still relatively low’, said MTN Group President and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko, who announced he will no longer renew its contract with MTN in June 2010, but will continue as agreed in his current role up to March 2011.

According to the group’s results, overall revenue increased by 9.2% to R111.9 billion and earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) by 6,7% to R46,1 billion, although movements in exchange rates in the South African Rand and Nigerian Naira had a substantially negative impact on the Group’s financial results.

MTN Group targets to grow by 20 million subscribers this year. For 2010, the group expects an additional 800,000 subscribers for South Africa and Ghana and a 6,000,000 increase in mobile users in Nigeria.

Uganda is in the South and East Africa zone of the Group and is part of the’rest’ expected to contribute seven million subscribers in 2010.

The South and East Africa region experienced a slight drop in performance that saw its profits after tax drop by 6 percent from R7.322 billion to R6.875 billion last year. The group declared a dividend of 192 cents per ordinary share for the period. The MTN Group increased its stake in MTN Uganda from 95 percent to 97 percent. Ugandan businessman Charles Mbire has been controlling up to 5 percent of MTN Uganda since 2007. It is not clear if the increase in the MTN Group stake was at his expense. Mbire rarely comments on his business dealings.

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