Friday, March 1, 2024

MTN Nigeria posts ₦137 billion loss amidst naira devaluation

MTN Nigeria faced a challenging year in 2023, as the telecoms giant reported a loss after tax of ₦137.0 billion, a huge contrast to the ₦348.7 billion profits recorded in 2022.

The net foreign exchange loss for 2023 compared to 2022 was N740.434 billion, showing a YoY increase of +804.93%, as opposed to N81.822 billion in the previous year. However, revenue grew by 22.7% from N2.01trn to N2.47trn.

This is contained in the company's audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2023.

According to Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria CEO the telecom giant witnessed a very challenging operating environment characterised by rising inflation, currency devaluation and foreign exchange shortages, complicated by geopolitical disruptions and cash shortages in Q1.

The financial statement revealed that MTN's services revenue grew by 22.4%, driven primarily by data revenue growth of 39.8%. Voice revenue was up by 9.7%.

The company sustained robust commercial momentum in its connectivity business and platforms, fueled by the expansion of its user base, reaching over 4 million subscribers in 2023 and elevating the total base to 79.7 million. Data subscribers for the company increased by over 5 million to 44.6 million, which helped to drive total data traffic growth of 44.9%.

Dividend payment:

On 27 July 2023, the company's Board of Directors approved interim dividends of N117.48 billion for the year ended 31 December 2023 (Interim 2022: N113.99 billion). The interim dividend were paid out of interim profit made during the same period and represents N5.60 kobo per ordinary share on the issued share capital of 21 billion ordinary shares of 2 kobo each for the period ended 30 June 2023.

Given the significant currency devaluation and its impact on the retained earnings, the Directors will not be recommending a final dividend payment, in view of the resulting loss for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Fintech revenue

This increased by 2.4%, led by Xtratime (our airtime lending product), which rose by 2%. However, despite the challenges from the NIN requirement for KYC introduced in Q4 by the CBN, we added 3.3 million active wallets in the year to 5.3 million. This helped to drive MoMo PSB revenue, which rose by 8.1%.

Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 163% to 5.3 million, powered by 326,000 MoMo agents, and 324,000 merchants in its ecosystem.


MTN says it expects 2024 to be a challenging year due to the rising inflation and devaluation of the naira. In January 2024, the inflation rate reached 29.9%, while the exchange rate has further devalued to N1582/$ as of 26 February 2024. "This is anticipated to put additional pressure on consumers, the cost of doing business and further potential forex losses," it said.

By Adekunle Agbetiloye, Business Insider Africa

Related story: Video - MTN CEO resigns due to $5.2 billion fine imposed by Nigeria

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