• Subscribers increased by 12.3% to 22.6 million (+11.2% to 19.8 million*).
• Data subscribers increased by 28.6% to 20.1 million (active data subscribers up by 26.6% to 8.1 million#).
• Registered Mobile Money (MoMo) subscribers increased by 10.6% to 15.1 million (active MoMo subscribers up by 8.9% to 9.1 million*).
• Final dividend of GH¢0.04 per share recommended.
MTN Ghana (Scancom PLC or MTNGH or the Company) delivered a strong performance for the year in a competitive industry, maintaining market leadership with 55.21%2 market share.
Service revenue increased by 22.8% year-on-year (YoY), underpinned by growth in revenue from voice, data and Mobile Money (MoMo).
Double-digit growth in voice revenue (up 19.4% YoY) was driven by an increase in the number of active subscribers* (+11.2%), the benefits of various customer value management (CVM) initiatives and pro-consumer activity, as well as continued improvements to our network.
As new lines of revenue continued to grow much faster than the traditional business, voice revenue’s contribution to service revenue decreased from 46.3% to 45.0%.
Solid data revenue growth (up 32.5% YoY) was attributable to growth in active data users# (+26.6%), growth in the number of smartphones (+18.5%) on the network and an increase in data usage (up 85.9% to 256,301 Terabyte). Data revenue’s contribution to service revenue expanded from 26.3% to 28.4%.
Mobile Money revenue continued to grow strongly (up 28.0%) in a year in which we marked the 10th anniversary of MoMo in Ghana. MoMo growth was attributable to an increase in the number of active subscribers* (+8.9%), commissions on cash-in-cash-out transactions, increased transactional activity of person-to-person (P2P) transactions as well as good growth in more advanced services – such as retail merchant payments. MoMo revenue’s contribution to service revenue expanded from 17.9% to 18.6%.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 65.7% with a YoY EBITDA margin expansion of 13.2 pp to 50.8%. Under IAS 17 and adjusting for the management fee, the like-for-like EBITDA margin expanded by 5.9 pp to 43.5% (2018 EBITDA margin: 37.6%). The margin improvement was supported by lower operating expenses, prudent revenue initiatives as well as distribution efficiencies.
We continued to invest in our network and rolled out 280 2G, 557 3G, 900 4G and 100 rural telephony sites.
On the regulatory front, during the year the Payment Systems and Services Act 2019 was passed into law. This governs the way mobile money services are conducted. As required of existing players, we have applied for the new licence.
MTN Ghana continues to engage with regulatory stakeholders and maintains a firm focus on achieving continued improvements in customer experience.
Following the expiry of certain technology licences in 2019, the NCA has renewed our 2G licence for 15 years. We have submitted applications for the renewal of our International Gateway and Fixed Access licences, which are pending NCA approval.
We continued to invest in our communities, with the MTN Ghana Foundation support reaching a total of 149 projects since inception in 2007. In 2019, the foundation initiated eight new projects in education, three in health and one in economic empowerment.
The board of MTN Ghana declared an interim dividend of 2 pesewas per share after reviewing the mid-year performance of the Company. After reviewing the full year performance of the Company, the board of MTN Ghana shall be recommending a final dividend of 4 pesewas per share, bringing the total dividend for the 2019 year to 6 pesewas per share. This represents 73.1% of profit after tax and a 20.0% increase in dividend per share.
2019 marked the ‘year of the customer’ for MTN Ghana and in 2020 we are building on that foundation as we transition from a traditional mobile telecommunications operator to an emerging digital operator. In line with our transition journey, MTN Ghana has declared 2020 as the ‘year of the customer: the digital experience’ with a focus on digitalisation as a tool to enhance customer experience as well as create value for our shareholders.