MTN secures Afghan unit sale for $35m

MTN secures Afghan unit sale for $35m

MTN Group accepted a US$35 million offer for its Afghanistan operation to finalise its exit from Middle Eastern markets, as it reported revenue growth in its latest financial results.

The South African group did not disclose the buyer. In a call with journalists, MTN group president and CEO Ralph Mupita disclosed the fee which would be paid over a period of time and proceeds would be US$31 million, reported Reuters.

MTN has been simplifying its business to focus on core African markets. It has already shed its unit in Yemen and ditched its operations in Syria. It currently operates in 19 markets globally.

In a statement, MTN Group president and CEO Ralph Mupita said: “Notwithstanding the tough macro conditions, MTN remained focused on investing in our markets to increase broadband coverage and to reduce the cost to communicate”.

Mupita detailed the company pushed network investment during the first half of 2022 to ZAR17.1 billion and spent an additional ZAR7 billion on securing 4G and 5G spectrum in “key markets” South Africa and Nigeria.

The investments increased broadband coverage to 85.5% and led to an average 22.5% reduction in data tariffs.

Breaking down interim financial results for H1, group revenue grew to ZAR97.5 billion from ZAR86.7 billion year on year. Profit attributable to equity holders was ZAR8 billion, up from ZAR2.7 billion last year.  

Service revenue grew 14.8% to ZAR92.5 billion, while EBITDA also increased by 15.1% to ZAR43.9 billion.   

Data revenue saw strong growth of 35.9% due to increased due to units in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa. 

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