The nation’s largest telecommunication company, MTN, has committed to localising its ownership by 30 percent for both arms of its operations – Scancom Plc and Mobile Money Limited.
Per the company’s 2021 annual report, the agreed initial localisation requirement was 25 percent for Scancom PLC in line with regulatory requirements, and 30 percent for Mobile Money Limited. Accordingly, the move is to ease elements of implementation and is evidence of MTN Ghana’s willingness to further deepen the local content of its ownership mix.
“For ease of implementation and to further deepen localisation, MTN has offered to implement 30 percent Localisation for both Scancom PLC and Mobile Money Limited. Our consultations with government, the central bank and other relevant stakeholders continue positively,” the only publicly-listed telecommunications company said.
In the year under review, MTN saw its total revenue swell by 28 percent year-on-year (YoY) to hit GH¢7.72billion. This was driven almost entirely by service revenue, which saw a similar YoY growth of 28.5 percent, to close the year at GH¢7.7billion.
Also, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 33.7 percent to GH¢4.24billion, as pre-tax profit almost doubled at 44 percent to reach GH¢2.85billion. This comes as MTN paid GH¢2.77billion to government in direct and indirect taxes, excluding related government agencies’ fees, permits and charges. The tax amounted to 35.8 percent of its total revenue.
Following its full-year performance, the Board of MTN has recommended a final dividend of GH¢0.085 per share. This, in addition to an interim dividend of GH¢0.03 per share, will bring the total dividend for 2021 to GH¢0.115 per share. The figure represents a 43.8 percent increase in dividend per share and accounts for 70.6 percent of the post-tax profit of the Ghana Stock Exchange-listed company.
Significant market power (SMP)
Following the SMP designation of MTN Ghana in 2020, the National Communication Authority (NCA) directed the company to implement seven remedies. Thus, MTN Ghana says, it has defined and implemented three of them.
The three SMP remedies implemented are: the application of a 30 percent asymmetrical interconnect rate reduction for two years, beginning October 1, 2020; review and approval of all MTN pricing by the NCA from October 1, 2020; and implementation of the on-net / off-net, price differential removal on default tariffs, affecting data and promotional offers as well.
“One is in the advanced stage of implementation and the remaining three will be worked as and when they are due or defined by the regulator,” the company said.
In the light of improving economic conditions globally, and especially locally, MTN is offering modest guidance to investors on its expected growth in revenue, which it has pegged within the 13 percent to 15 percent band.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, emerging global trends and uncertainties in the local economy raise some concerns, and we will continue to monitor these trends closely.
“We forecast service revenue growth in the high teens over the medium-term from the previous guidance of 13 percent to 15 percent. In addition, we will progress execution of the expense efficiency programme and our prudent approach to managing costs to deliver on our commitment to margin expansion,” the report stated.
At the close of trading on February 28, MTN had a share price of GH¢1.05 – down 5.41 percent year-to-date, with a market capitalisation of GH¢12.9billion.