It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 4th Annual General Meeting as a publicly listed company, to share with you the report of your company’s activities and business performance for the year ended
December 31, 2021.
2021 in review
2021 was a special year for MTN Ghana, as it marked 25 years of providing vital telecommunications and digital services to Ghanaians. During this period, MTN Ghana played its part in improving the lives of Ghanaians as well as enabling growth of businesses and the economy.
We commemorated the milestone by celebrating the loyalty and trust we have received from our valued customers, our people and all stakeholders including our trade partners, our technology partners, our business collaborators, our regulators and our media partners, who have made this journey possible.
We also commissioned three landmark projects in Health and ICT skills development as part of our corporate social investments as well as extending our scholarship program to support 300 students over three years into local tertiary institutions.
These initiatives reflect our commitment to the people of Ghana in the communities within which we
operate, to promote health, education and economic empowerment as part of our Corporate Social
Investments. To crown the year, we delivered strong financial results in line with our market guidance and achieved growth across our key business segments in a world that continued to be impacted by COVID-19.
As the nation navigated through unprecedented times, we continued to demonstrate and live our ‘Can
Do’ value through sustained investments, sound operational execution and resilience in delivering continued growth in our core business during 2021. Service revenue grew by 28.5%, driven mainly by increased investment in the network and delivery of commercial initiatives which resulted in growth of our customer base and demand for our services. Our customers remained our key focus and we continued to invest in digitalising our customer support services and improving our flagship MyMTN app.
We improved our support as well as elevated the available self-service options. For example, MTN customers are now able to check their bills, look at call records and data spend and also seek help among other services on the MyMTN app.
We remained committed to truly putting the customer at the heart of the organisation to achieve high levels of advocacy, measured through our Net Promoter Score (NPS). The pandemic heightened our need to align our focus on addressing essential customer needs with empathy, care and concern. We enhanced our customer service resolution through a variety of different channels including our customer service digital channels and the use of social media to listen to and improve our understanding of customer sentiments.
The pandemic and ongoing changes in the world showed how critical connectivity and digital services are to society. We have seen demand for mobile connectivity grow rapidly every year and we continue to invest a significant amount of money in making our network even better. In 2021, we invested a total Capex of ¢1.5 billion supporting infrastructure modernisation, expansion of 4G population coverage to over 90.6% (+18.9pp) and improvements to the quality of service.
Improvements to network capacity and quality were made possible by rolling out 131 2G, 120 3G and 1,446 4G sites and modernising 2,121 existing 4G sites. We extended 4G network and data services to an additional 1.7 million people, deepening digital inclusion in Ghana.
Investments in the network and IT systems, coupled with the execution of our commercial strategy, enabled the expansion of the subscriber base by 1.0 million YoY to 25.4 million. These investments combined with changes in consumer usage patterns resulted in active data user growth of 15.3% YoY with a corresponding growth of 34.3% in megabytes consumed per active subscriber.
The growth in subscriber numbers, product enhancements and innovations around customer value management supported growth in voice revenue by 4.9% YoY to GHS2.6 billion. The contribution of voice to service revenue consequently declined from 41.8% to 34.1% YoY in favour of increased contributions from data and Mobile Money.
Data revenue grew by 56.3% YoY to GHS2.8 billion. This was a result of increased data traffic (+54.9%) owing to various commercial interventions, improvements to the network, changes in consumer usage
behaviour and an increased number of smartphones on the network (+10.6%). The contribution of data to service revenue increased from 29.6% to 36.0% YoY in line with our revenue diversification strategy.
Active MoMo users recovered from the challenges in H1 2021 to achieve a growth of 3.8% YoY. We expanded our MoMo distribution and footprint across the nation through the growth in active agents (+18.7% YoY). We also expanded merchants (+29.9% YoY) to bring our services much closer to our customers and to further enhance financial inclusion.
Growth in Mobile Money advanced service offerings such as retail merchant payments, micro loans, insurance and international remittances supported an increase in Mobile Money revenue by 38.2% YoY to GHS1.7 billion. The contribution of Mobile Money to service revenue increased from 20.9% to 22.5% YoY.
Enhancements were made to allow the sale of airtime to all other operators on our MoMo service on USSD and MyMTN app, as part of our intent to achieve MoMo universality in the ecosystem. We further enhanced the integration of Mobile Money service into our ayoba super app, and this helped drive customer experience and transactional activity on the super app.
Digital revenue declined by 5.1% YoY to GHS0.2 million. During the period we embarked on a cleanup of our digital products and services to enhance customer experience and rationalization of our digital products portfolio, improved our digital messaging channels and added more value to our music and gaming offerings to meet the entertainment needs of our customers. These helped grow our active digital subscribers by 1.1 million to 4.2 million in the period.
We continued to drive operational efficiency in the business. This helped support a 33.7% YoY growth in EBITDA and margin expansion of 2.3pp to 55.0%. Profit after tax increased by 43.5% YoY.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that, in October 2021, Antoinette Kwofie joined MTN Ghana as Chief Finance Officer (CFO) from Absa Bank Ghana, where she held the role of CFO for more than eight years. The management team also gained a new member in the person of Shaibu Haruna, who is our Chief Sales and Distribution officer.
Shaibu has decades of experience in sales and leadership roles and we are pleased to have him as part of the team. While we had great additions to the team, our Chief Corporate Services Officer, Samuel Koranteng, retired from active duty. I want to wish him the very best and announce that Nana Kofi Asare (who is our Senior Manager, Legal) will act in this role until a replacement is appointed. I wish them all the very best in their respective roles and endeavours.
In 2022, our areas of focus include improving customer experience across all services and regions to further enhance subscriber growth and usage of our services. We also plan to expand our 4G / 4G+ service by implementing 4G everywhere you go (i.e., 4G on every site) by the end of 2022 and scale up efforts in the digitalisation journey with a focus on MyMTN and the ayoba super app. Mobile Money ecosystem expansion will also be a key focus for us through innovations in advanced services and work to deepen the penetration of MoMo users within the base.
We forecast service revenue growth in the high teens (in percentage terms) over the medium-term from the previous guidance of 13% to 15%. In addition, we will progress the execution of the expense efficiency programme and our prudent approach to managing costs to deliver on our commitment to margin expansion.
Execution of our Ambition 2025 strategy will continue, as we seek to build a platform business that enables broader digital ecosystem acceleration. We expect to make considerable progress on localisation of Scancom PLC and its subsidiary, MobileMoney Limited.
As I conclude, I would like to note my appreciation to the management and employees of MTN Ghana for their tireless efforts, and the great sacrifices made to ensure we deliver on the set targets. I am confident about the opportunities that lie ahead of us and I look forward to your continued support to steer MTN Ghana to greater heights in the years to come.
On behalf of the staff of MTN Ghana, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors for their continued guidance and support and for the many challenges, they have helped us navigate positively.
I also wish to thank our customers, strategic partners, government, regulators and you, our shareholders, for your continued faith in the leadership and strategy of MTN Ghana.
Thank you, please stay safe and God bless us all.