MTN Ghana is set to pay a total of GH¢368.7 million to shareholders in interim dividend for the first quarter of 2020.
In its unaudited first quarter financial statement, MTN declared a profit after tax of GH¢349.7million as at March 2020, a 62.1 percent increment from GH¢215.8 million in March, 2019 but it is able to afford this dividend due to its significant retained earnings which currently stands in excess of GH¢2billion.
At GH¢0.03 per share for the period to March 31, 2020, shareholders should expect payments between May 13-29, 2020. Consequently, an investor purchasing MTNGH shares before this date will be entitled to the interim dividend. However, an investor buying MTNGH shares on or after Wednesday, May 13, 2020 will not be entitled to the interim dividend.
On Friday, May 29, 2020 the dividend will be transferred electronically to the bank accounts or mobile money wallets of shareholders who make use of these facilities.
The company delivered a strong performance for the period, despite macro-economic challenges arising in Ghana in the last month of the quarter from the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Service revenue increased by 20.4 percent, underpinned by double-digit growth in voice, data and Mobile Money revenue.
Voice growth was resilient (up 16.6 percent), driven by an increase in the number of active subscribers (+4.5 percent) as well as various customer value management (CVM) initiatives, which helped to manage churn and support usage.
The contribution of voice to total service revenue decreased from 47.1 percent to 45.6 percent, as other lines of revenue continued to grow faster than the traditional business in line with our revenue diversification strategy.
The double-digit increase in data revenue (up 19.4 percent) was attributable to growth in active data users (+6.1 percent) and growth in the number of smartphones on the network (+2.1 percent). Data revenue’s contribution to service revenue decreased marginally from 26.7 percent to 26.5 percent.
Mobile Money revenue grew strongly (up 30.4 percent) and benefited from an increase in the number of active subscribers (+2.1 percent), higher transactional activity of person-to-person (P2P) and growth in more advanced services such as retail merchant payments and international remittances. Mobile Money revenue’s contribution to service revenue increased from 17.9 percent to 19.4 percent.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 34.5 percent with an EBITDA margin expansion of 5.5 percentage points (pp) to 53.4 percent. This margin improvement was a result of our cost efficiency initiatives underpinned by continued distribution efficiencies.