MTN Ghana recorded 53.1% growth in earnings in the third quarter of this year to GHS1.4 billion.

According to its unaudited quarter three (Q3) performance, total revenue went up by 19.3% to GHS4.4 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

At the same time, capital investments shot up by 1.6% to GHS875.8 million in Q3.

The company attributed its headline earnings to short-term cuts in expenses and cash preservation.

MTN continues to lead the telecoms market as subscribers increased by 8.7% to 23.4 million. Active data subscribers also increased by 8.3% to 9.8 million, while active Mobile Money (MoMo) users increased by 4.3% to 10.2 million.

The company’s statement said “Ghana has experienced some improvements in economic activity following the lifting of various restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19; despite this, we continue to maintain a measured stance given the continued uncertainty regarding the extent of economic impact of COVID-19.”

It explained further that data revenue growth of 20.7% was driven by an increase in active data subscribers, a higher number of smartphones on the network (+12.6%) and a general increase in demand as well as 58.9% growth in usage.

It also said that the growth in Mobile Money revenue was supported by an increase in the number of active users (+4.3%) from new activations in the period, higher person-to-person transactional activity and broader penetration of more advanced services such as retail merchant payments and international remittances.

“COVID-19 has led to shifts in consumer behaviour with the dependency on, and usage of, digital options increasing significantly. The increase in demand for digital and data services have placed significant pressure on our network infrastructure. This has necessitated our capex spend of GH¢876 million in network capacity and infrastructure expansion projects to meet the needs of Ghanaians in this era of accelerated digitalization”, it said.

“We are committed to the further investments required. Our investments to date will support and enable continued economic productivity. In the period, we have rolled out 115 2G, 115 3G and 547 LTE sites, which has supported a significant improvement in network coverage, customer experience and quality of service. This has helped us to accommodate the demand for digital and data services that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic”, it further noted.

Support to covid-19 fight

The company said it continues to support Government’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic by providing free access to over 200 websites for online education for public and private institutions until the end of the pandemic.

“To date, we have supported over 4.5 million students and teachers with over 150 Terabytes of free data valued at more than GH¢3 million. To augment this effort, MTN through the MTN Ghana Foundation donated GH¢5 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other essentials to support frontline medical staff through the Government’s COVID-19 Trust Fund activities”, it said.