MTN is losing millions of customers

MTN Group has announced in an earnings call that its Nigerian telecommunications operator, the largest in the country, has bled five million mobile subscribers in the first three months of the year. It earmarks customer churn and new restrictions on SIM card sales activations as the main reasons.

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Lagos-listed MTN Nigeria Communications also reported a slight decrease in active data customers for the first time in its history.

Despite the slippage in customers, the Nigerian company reported a 17.2% increase in revenue and a 19.1% increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation). This translated into a 42.5% increase in earnings per share.

“We made good progress in the first quarter of 2021 despite the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola in a statement to shareholders.

“We continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Nigerian Identity Management Commission to update subscriber records with the national identity number (NIN). More than 35 million subscribers have submitted their NINs as at 30 April 2021, representing approximately 50% of our subscriber base and 63% of service revenue,” Toriola said.