MTNMTN Group’s Interim results, for the six-month period to 30 June 2013, that were announced show that MTN is well positioned for improved organic growth. MTN Group’s results were supported by strong organic growth from Uganda with a 15.4% increase in year-on-year revenue. MTN is a leading emerging markets operator, connecting more than 200 million people in 22 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It is at the forefront of global technological changes, delivering a bold, new Digital World to its customers.

Announcing the MTN Group results and the achievement of 200 million customers, the Group President and CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa said, “We’ve reached this important milestone a year before we celebrate 20 years of connecting people and economies, from South Africa, where MTN was started in 1994, to South Sudan, our most recent market”.

The results reflect a challenging operating environment given the sustained global economic slowdown, highly competitive mobile markets and pricing pressures, which have seen average voice tariffs across our markets fall 29.5% year-on-year (YoY) in US dollar terms. Despite these challenges, our substantial investment in network infrastructure and robust subscriber growth position us well for improved organic growth.

Highlights from MTN Uganda show an increase in its subscriber base by 4.4% to 8 million from 7.7 million at the end of December 2012, driven by strong promotional activity, a reduction in churn and the continued success of the MTN Zone offering.

MTN Uganda’s revenue increased by 15.4%, supported by strong data revenue growth. SMS revenue declined 14.6% as customers opted for newer data-driven social media platforms to communicate and as internet browsing increased. This positively impacted mobile data revenue, which increased 57.4%, supported by a simplified data bundles offering and upgraded internet speeds, regional data exhibitions and a strong performance from MTN Mobile Money. MTN Mobile Money recorded a 51% increase in subscribers and more than 25 million transactions per month.

Commenting on the results, MTN Uganda CEO Mazen Mroué said, “I am happy to note that the results announced earlier today show a steady performance for the MTN Group and particularly for MTN Uganda which has passed its 8 million customer landmark”.

MTN Uganda’s focus over the last year has been on Network Quality, the rollout of innovative Products and Services and improvement of Customer Experience.

During the last 15 years, MTN has made major investments to its infrastructure in Uganda. MTN Uganda launched the first mobile money service in Uganda with tremendous success, introduced 3G+ and 4G LTE, expanded the mobile distribution foot print, and greatly enhanced the mobile core, radio capacity and infrastructure technology.  Furthermore, it extended the fibre network backbone and built regional switching centres in the East, West, North and Central regions.

In terms of infrastructure, last year MTN Uganda completed an additional 600km of fibre infrastructure closing the year with 2,800km of fibre to provide the capacity for high speed data connectivity and wider National coverage of 3G+ mobile data services that extend internet access to the rural areas of Uganda.

“I would like to congratulate the MTN Uganda staff for their contribution and support in achieving these positive results. At MTN we recognize our staff as a key asset in enabling this success”, Mroué added.

A key indicator of this excellence can be seen through a number of Awards that the company has received over the past couple of months showing endorsement from both its customers and other stakeholders.

Last week, MTN Uganda received three awards from Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) including Best Telecom Company, Best Money Transfer Services and Best Internet Service Provider 2013. This came just a few weeks after MTN Uganda was recognized as Uganda’s leading Super Brand where MTN was also recognized in the Telecommunications, Internet, Computers and Technology category. At this same award ceremony, MTN Mobile Money was also recognized under the financial category, ranking closely to some banks and other financial institutions.

Earlier in April, MTN Uganda was also voted as the Best Mobile Telecom provider of the year (2012) at the 2013 Uganda Responsible Investment (URI) awards.

“The MTN Uganda leadership team is fully aligned and committed to support the staff to continue performing and excelling to ensure that we are able to deliver even better results by the end of the year,” Mroué said.

He added that MTN Uganda will continue to invest in Uganda to ensure that it lives up to its vision of leading the delivery of a bold, new Digital World to our customers. MTN Uganda is embracing this vision through constant enhancements to our Data Network to deliver World-class Internet and make our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter.

To celebrate this achievement, and to continue giving back to the communities that have supported MTN over the years, the Group President and CEO, Mr. Sifiso Dabengwa, also announced a bold R200 million initiative to improve the quality of education across our markets in Africa and the Middle East.

“This is our opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to social development. Due to the lack of access to quality education and infrastructure, and low literacy rates in most of the countries we operate in, we will direct a significant amount of our corporate social (CSI) spend towards education over the next two years,” Dabengwa commented.