JOHANNESBURG - MTN Nigeria on Friday reported double-digit service revenue growth, with voice and data revenue up 11.4 percent and 31.7 percent respectively for the six months ended 30 June. 

During the period, MTN Nigeria mobile subscribers increased by 3.3 million to 61.5 million, improving the margin on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

MTN Nigeria said voice revenue growth was supported by a 5.7 percent increase in subscribers, relatively stable tariffs and a focus on pro-consumer activities.

Data revenue growth was driven by an increased number of smartphones on the network, greater data usage and growth in the number of active data users. 

MTN Nigeria chief executive Ferdi Moolman said the company had made significant network investments to improve network quality and expand its 4G coverage. 

"Our recent work to revamp our data prices and accelerate our 4G network has put us in a strong competitive position to offer more value to our customers, supporting data and voice revenue growth which will ultimately strengthen our business," Moolman said.

"We are pleased with obtaining a super-agent licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enable us to build an agent network and accelerate the growth of our fintech business."

MTN Nigeria's fintech business continued to gain momentum with 21.2 percent growth in revenue year-on-year. 

The super-agent licence will allow MTN Nigeria to leverage its established distribution channels to offer a wide range of mobile financial services. 

Moolman said the firm would continue to work towards obtaining a payment service banking licence it applied for in late 2018. 

In May, MTN Nigeria was successfully listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, making it the first mobile network operator on the bourse.

"The listing demonstrates our commitment to the Nigerian market and provides local investors with an opportunity to participate in and benefit from the company's growth prospects," Moolman said.

In line with its dividend policy guidance at listing, the MTN Nigeria board approved a maiden interim dividend of N2.95 per share.

African News Agency (ANA)