MTN reports 18.8% revenue decline in Q1

By Emmanuel Osadare

MTN Group, Africa’s largest telecommunications operator, has recently disclosed its first-quarter financial results, revealing an 18.8% decline in service revenue.

This downturn, attributed in part to the performance of MTN Nigeria, underscores the complexities and challenges facing telecom operators in the ever-evolving African market landscape. Additionally, the telecom operator also revised the capital expenditure forecast for 2024 which indicates strategic adjustments in response to market dynamics and operational imperatives.

MTN, operating in 18 African markets and serving a subscriber base of 288 million, disclosed that its overall service revenue for the quarter ending March 31 decreased to 42.9 billion rand ($2.34 billion), down from 52.8 billion rand during the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

In terms of constant currency, service revenue, excluding revenue from devices and SIM cards, MTN experienced an increase of 11.1%.

The report also shows that MTN’s service revenue in South Africa exceeded that of Nigeria, its largest revenue-generating market, with a modest growth of 3% to reach 10.4 billion rand, whereas Nigeria experienced a significant decline of 52.8%, falling to 10.2 billion rand.

Commenting on this, Group President and CEO of MTN, Ralph Mupita said, “The macro environment in the first quarter of 2024 remained challenging with ongoing high inflation as well as local currency devaluations in some of our key markets.”

The significant decline in first-quarter service revenue reported by MTN Group reflects a confluence of internal and external factors impacting its operational performance. Key factors contributing to this decline include market-specific challenges, regulatory dynamics, competitive pressures, and evolving consumer behaviors.

Performance of MTN Nigeria

MTN Nigeria’s performance played a pivotal role in shaping MTN Group’s overall financial results for the first quarter. Despite being a key market for MTN Group, Nigeria’s operating environment is characterized by regulatory uncertainties, fierce competition, and economic volatility, which can exert downward pressure on revenue streams.


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