May 05, 2021 at 04:35PM

Mobile operator MTN Group, headquartered in Johannesburg, Africa, reported first-quarter 2021 results that moved past medium-term guidance, driven in part by an uptick in data and FinTech revenue. MTN Group delivers voice, data, mobile financial services and digital products across 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

The company posted roughly an 18 percent jump in first-quarter revenue, led by double-digit growth in commercial operations across South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, according to a press release on Wednesday (May 5).

Ralph Mupita, president and CEO of MTN Group, said that the company’s first-quarter results also showed an expansion of service revenue and EBITDA margins. He added that the company’s 2025 strategy is on course despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Mupita also said that the group is “encouraged” by the strong performance of MTN South Africa and plans to expand its expense efficiency program.

Increases in revenue came from group data, digital entertainment and online learning. FinTech revenue also escalated by more than 31 percent, and the overall value of FinTech transactions went up 87 percent to $53 billion. Group data revenue went up by almost one-third, amid continued demand for remote services, digital entertainment and online education offerings. 

Mupita said the company is happy with “the momentum in driving our platform strategy,” and that its project to separate FinTech is on course with its “Ambition 2025 strategy.

“MTN Rwanda recently received a license to operate a separate FinTech entity, bringing the number of structurally separated entities to 12 (out of 16 fintech markets). We continue to progress our work in establishing the Topco structure for FinTech, and anticipate that this will be concluded before Q1 2022,” Mupita predicted.

MTN said the valuation of its mobile money arm is more than $5 billion. The company now has more than 280 million global subscribers and has added almost 12 million new users to its mobile money arm, for a total of over 46 million in 2020. Last month, MTN introduced the idea of a separation plan as part of a strategy pivot.

South Africa’s MTN Group First-Quarter Revenue Up 18 Pct …

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