MTN Group has bemoaned the fuel subsidy strike which took place across Nigeria in January this year, saying it impacted negatively on its subscriber growth for the first quarter of 2012. However, its subscriber base increased by three per cent adding 1.2 million subscribers Nigeria as the group’s subscriber topped 170 million.
In the first quarter result released at the weekend, MTN Group recorded 170,573, 000 subscribers at 31 March 2012, a 3,7 per cent increase for the quarter from 164, 501, 000 subscribers recorded as at 31 December 2011. The Group delivered a satisfactory performance notwithstanding continued high levels of competition in key markets.
In Nigeria, its operation due to the fuel strike and aggressive competition experienced slower net connections at the beginning of the year resulted in a marginal loss of MTN’s share of the market. However, corrective measures enabled the operation to increase network capacity and improve net connections later in the quarter. “No clarity has yet been provided on the deadline for SIM registration. Local currency ARPU declined by 1.1 per cent for the quarter,” it said.
MTN Nigeria contributed 25.1 per cent to Group subscribers. MTN South Africa contributed 13.3 per cent to Group subscribers; it increased its subscriber base 3.2 per cent for the quarter while MTN Irancell contributed 21.6 per cent to Group subscribers while MTN Ghana contributed 6.1 per cent to Group subscribers, increasing its subscribers 2.3 per cent for the quarter.
MTN Syria contributed 3.3 per cent to Group subscribers. The rest of MTN’s operations contributed 30.5 per cent to Group subscribers, representing an increase in users of 3.5per cent. MTN Uganda increased its subscriber base by 1.2 per cent as the market slowed due to SIM registration. MTN Sudan continued to show good progress, increasing its subscriber base by 5.3 per cent for the quarter attributable to attractive value propositions and improved distribution.
MTN Cameroun also performed well and increased its subscriber base by 9.8 per cent. This was attributable to a more aggressive informal distribution strategy and attractive value propositions. MTN Cote d’Ivoire increased its subscriber base marginally by 0.5 per cent because of the removal of 200 000 non revenue generating SIM cards and lower gross connections due to SIM registration.
MTN continues to prioritise key initiatives to better manage the business as consumer trends evolve and competition intensifies. Data and related products and services continued to gain momentum. Network quality and capacity remains a key imperative for the Group. The majority of the operations continued to aggressively rollout network and achieved satisfactory progress for the quarter.