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MTN South Africa records high profit despite poor economy

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MTN Group’s South African unit on Wednesday said it reported high profit and subscriber growth in 2021.

The tech giant disclosed that its subscriber numbers jumped by three million to 35 million as “churn stabilised” and as the company reported higher gross additions.

According to the company, service revenue climbed by 6.5%, while data revenue leapt 13.1%. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) – a measure of operational profitability – increased by 6.1%, although the Ebitda margin contracted marginally to 38.9%.

Data consumption accelerated in 2021, according to the yearly report, with data traffic growth of 58.3% and a 12.5% increase in the number of customers actively using the Internet, MTN said.

Capital expenditure rose to R10.4-billion when measured using IFRS 16 reporting standards (or R9.1-billion under IAS 17 rules), an increase over 2020’s investment.

“MTN South Africa delivered very strong overall results in 2021, on sustained commercial and operational execution across all business units. The [operating company] maintained a solid growth trajectory in all core businesses, namely the prepaid consumer business unit (CBU); the post-paid CBU; the enterprise business unit; and the wholesale business,” MTN Group said.

“This performance was achieved against a challenging macroeconomic and consumer backdrop and increasing unemployment rates in industries such as hospitality and tourism. MTN South Africa was also impacted by shifts in customer spending patterns as lockdown restrictions abated and the movement of people increased. This intensified competition for share of the consumer’s wallet.”

Still, the company’s 6.5% service revenue growth exceeding the medium-term target and was supported by healthy performances by the prepaid CBU (up 2.1%), the post-paid CBU (up 4.5%), enterprise (up 16.8%) and wholesale (up 21.7%).

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, signs separate gas pipeline deals with Ghana, Guinea, others

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Nigeria’s oil company, the NNPC have signed separate deals with the national oil companies of Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in furtherance of the planned Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; highlighted the roles played by the participating countries to make the planned commencement of the project to fruition.

“Today, we will be attaining another feat by signing five MoUs with the national oil companies and relevant entities from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

“From inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by the governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded thus far.

“As the strategic vision of our great leaders gains momentum, I would like to express our appreciation to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for entrusting NNPC Limited with this strategic project,” he stated.

He added: “NNPC Limited will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station to be deployed in Nigeria, which is among the 13 stations earmarked along the pipeline route.”

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

Nigeria and Morocco signed MoU for the gas pipeline in September which would link Nigeria to Morocco as well as supply West Africa and Europe.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

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