Pan-African mobile operator MTN Group has reported its financial results for the first six months of the year, noting a strong performance from most operating units across Africa that helped to offset a fall in revenue in its home market South Africa. First-half revenue rose 10.7% year-on-year to ZAR72.76 billion (USD6.78 billion) and EBITDA climbed 19.6% to ZAR33.66 billion (EBITDA margin rose 3.5 points to 46.3%) as total customer numbers rose 3.5% to 215 million, with data subscribers increasing by 7.3% over the same period to 88.5 million. MTN also counted 18.4 million mobile money users at the end of the period under review, up by 24.3% y-o-y. However, the group said that the slowing economy in South Africa impacted on its operation there, with H1 turnover declining 7% on an annualised basis to ZAR19.16 billion. MTN expects the performance of the unit to continue to be ‘subdued in the short term’, as its looks to refocus its market position there. More positively, MTN reported that its Nigerian business – which overtook South Africa as its single biggest contributor earlier this year – booked revenue of ZAR27.1 billion in H1 2014, up 21.5%. The South African parent invested a reported USD3 billion to upgrade its networks in Nigeria in May this year. Total group CAPEX for H1 was ZAR9.2 billion, down 28.1% y-o-y.
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