MTN Rwanda CFO Mark Nkurunziza counts on EEP and 4G network to boost EBITDA

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MTN Rwanda expects an improvement in EBITDA margins in the forthcoming quarters with the implementation of its expense efficiency programme (EEP) and the launch of its own 4G network. This is according to Mark Nkurunziza, MTN Rwanda’s chief finance officer, who was commenting on the company’s first quarter results.

MTN Rwanda expects an improvement in EBITDA margins in the forthcoming quarters with the implementation of its expense efficiency programme (EEP) and the launch of its own 4G network.

This is according to Mark Nkurunziza, MTN Rwanda’s chief finance officer, who was commenting on the company’s first quarter results.

“The financial performance for the quarter ending 31 March 2023 reflects a consistently strong year on year growth. In the first quarter, our Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) EBITDA, grew by 9.4 percent to deliver an EBITDA margin of 45.5 percent, which was down 2.2pp YoY,” he said.

Mark added, “This can be attributed to the increased cost of sales related to interconnect expenses and wholesale data cost of sales driven by an increased uptake of 4G services from the wholesale service provider."

According to the results, MTN Rwanda saw an increase in total mobile subscribers of 451,000 resulting in a customer base of 6.9 million at the end the first quarter. Meanwhile, subsidiary Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd (MMRL) added 646,000 Mobile Money (MoMo) users, with its customer base standing at 4.4 million.

Mark noted that the Mobile Money business delivered a solid performance with a double-digit revenue growth of 43.3 percent, which was attributed to a growth in both Mobile Money services, as well as Xtratime, the telecom’s airtime lending service.

Mobile Money revenues recorded a significant growth in merchant payments and remittance products, while advanced services have grown to contribute 22.5 percent to total Mobile Money revenues, up from 14 percent in the first quarter of 2022.

Among others, active Mobile Money subscribers grew 17.2 percent YoY, driven by increased total subscriber growth as well as a continued focus on customer value management activities.

The telecommunications giant first-quarter financial results surpassed medium-term guidance despite the continued challenging macroeconomic environment where inflation rose to 19.3 percent in comparison to March 2022.

The company’s service revenue grew by 14.9 percent to Rwf 58.4 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation closed at Rwf 27.0 billion, representing a 9.4 percent increase. The company’s key revenue streams, data and mobile money grew by 22.2 percent and 43.3 percent, respectively, while voice services slightly declined by 1.0 percent.

Mapula Bodibe, MTN Rwanda CEO, said, "Our fintech business will continue its focus to deepen financial inclusion in Rwanda with the expected rollout of additional advanced services including banktech and Insuretech solutions in the forthcoming quarters," stated Modibe.

The company disclosed its full quarter one, 2023 results through the Rwanda Stock Exchange in May 2023.

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