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MTN reports strong financial results and CEO succession process underway

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MTN reports commercial momentum, strategic progress and strong financial results; CEO to step down next year, succession process underway

MTN Group today announced an encouraging set of results for the year ended 31 December 2019 and that group president and CEO Rob Shuter would be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021.

Commenting on the results, Shuter said:

“In 2019, the 25th anniversary of MTN Group, we delivered commercial momentum across our operations as well as great progress in our strategy and strong financial results, despite challenging trading conditions.

We added 18 million customers to reach a total of 251 million and increased our data users by 17 million to 95 million and our fintech customers by 7 million to 35 million. This growth is central to our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. We also saw improvements in customer experience, network quality and market share across the group.

On the strategic front, we launched our instant messaging platform Ayoba, which is now live in 12 markets with two million monthly active users. We launched MoMo in South Africa and Afghanistan and received our super-agent licence in Nigeria, registering more than 100 000 agents by year-end. We also delivered R14 billion of asset realisations within the first 12 months of our programme and MTN Nigeria listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange. We recorded progress on various regulatory issues, including the AGF tax matter in Nigeria. Relationships with stakeholders across our markets improved, and we reported our highest employee sustainable engagement score yet.

On the financial side, we delivered service revenue growth of 9,8% with an acceleration in the second half. Our EBITDA margin improved and reported headline earnings per share grew by 62%. Our network rollout brought a further 69 million people into 4G coverage whilst reducing capex intensity.  Improved cash flows during the year supported stable balance sheet ratios.”

Operating environment

This outcome was delivered against challenging macroeconomic conditions, particularly in South Africa, with muted economic activity and the rand weakening against the US dollar.

Financial performance

In constant currency terms, group service revenue increased by 9,8%* to R141,8 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) expanded by 13,6% to R53,4 billion. The holding company leverage ratio improved to 2,2x, which is well within the group’s guidance range of 2,0 to 2,5x, and we reduced our capex intensity to 17,5% from 19,3%, indicating greater efficiency in deploying assets. Driven by the strong earnings performance, operating cashflow increased by 18% and the ROE increased from 11,5% in 2018 to 14,3% in 2019 on an IAS17 basis.

The group’s results were supported by double-digit growth in service revenue by both MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana. The performance of MTN South Africa was impacted by economic pressure, new data usage rules and changes in recognition criteria for roaming revenue from Cell C due to delayed payments under the networking roaming agreement.

Management succession

MTN announced that the group president and CEO Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021. The board thanks Rob for the contribution he has made, and continues to make, to MTN. The succession process will be concluded during the year, enabling a seamless handover.

MTN group chief technology and IT officer Charles Molapisi has been appointed to the group executive committee and the fixed contract of the group chief operations officer, Jens Schulte-Bockum, has been extended until 31 March 2022.

Looking ahead, Shuter says:

“We are well positioned for growth. Guided by our well-defined BRIGHT strategy, we are building our growth strategy on our digital operator model while optimising efficiencies, capex and cashflow.

Following data price reductions in South Africa and Nigeria in 2019, we expect price elasticity to improve data revenue growth in 2020, supported by expanded 4G coverage in Nigeria and across the group. We will continue to scale up our fintech and digital services as well as grow our enterprise and wholesale businesses.

We have maintained our service revenue, EBITDA margin, capex intensity and ROE targets and increased our asset disposal target by a further R25 billion over the medium term. We also now target a holding company leverage ratio at below 2x. We will use 2020 to implement our succession process and ensure a seamless handover to the new group president and CEO whilst maintaining our operational execution.

Inspired to harness the pioneering spirit that has built MTN over the last 25 years, we remain committed to delivering on our strategy in a more agile way in close collaboration with our many partners, with whom we are #GoodTogether.”

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Celebrity Gossip

“I earned 120K at my first job” Brian Ahumuza consoles Sheila Gashumba

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By Reporter

Fashion guru Ahumuza Brian of Abryanz Collection has revealed how he was also being paid 120 monthly salary. Through his social media platforms, Ahumuza Brian has revealed how much he was paid being when he had just started his fashion road years ago.

Ahumuza opened up his first store, The Abryanz Collection Store, a clothing retail opened its doors to the public in 2010 at Prime Complex and in 2014, the Abryanz Collection was awarded as the Best Youth Fashion Store at the Kadanke Youth Awards.At the Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards in 2015, the Abryanz Collection launched its first custom made collection. The majority of the pieces are now on sale in stores. This collection was collaboration between Brian Ahumuza and a few fashion designers in Korea.

The Abryanz Collection has also showcased at many of the past Buzz Teeniez Awards events, and Kadanke Youth Awards. Off the runway, the collection has exhibited in secondary schools within Kampala and across Central region during the school tours organized by the fashion magnet.

The Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards. (2013- To Date)

With the idea of getting the fashion industry in Uganda pronounced and established, Brian Ahumuza begun The Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards back in 2013.

Abryanz was named the new Ciroc UG Brand ambassador on 14 October 2016. The fashion guru broke records as he became the first East African to endorse the Premium Vodka Brand, Ciroc.


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Celebrity Gossip

A Mbarara 9 year old releases her debut single

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By Reporter

Have you thought about the children’s entertainment specially during this lockdown? 

This is sorted as a 9 year old girl from Mbarara district releases  her first solo video titled ‘NINZA KWEGA’ literally meaning ‘I WILL LEARN’ 

Murungi is undoubtedly talented  and picks inspiration from her mother Emily Kikazi, the region’s reigning Best Female Artist. Murungi’s project does not come as a mistake since she recently featured her mother in the trending Runyankore song titled Twerinde Coronavirus. Murungi brings out a strong voice and wonderful gestures in the NINZA KWEGA single. It’s not the first time she appears before a camera. In 2019, Murungi appeared in a song visual titled ‘Mwana Wangye’ where the mother was telling her to be a well behaved child. Now in her Ninza Kwega song, the young beautiful Murungi, like her name, seems to be putting into practice what the mother taught her. Murungi is a lucky girl. She is already signed under her mother’s label called SUPER RICH GANG and the song was produced by the best producer Deus Kabagambe of sure tunes and Video was shot by VoltFilms. The mother tells us that she has a full independent management under the same label led by one U-Turn Fahard who is an influencer in the region. 

The mother, Emily Kikazi, an artist, says she is aiming at a big brand Murungi not just a stage performing artist. Murungi is having a personal music coach who doubles as her producer Deus Kabagambe. In just hours, her Facebook page MURUNGI and Youtube channel MURUNGI UG have shown pretty good growth. I recommend this video for every parent and child. Good luck MURUNGI!

Watch her debut single here


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Celebrity Gossip

Lydia Jazmine, Feffe Bussi, Tonix and Grenade light up Club Beatz second edition

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By Reporter

The second edition of Club Beatz at Home online concert took place on Saturday and featured singers Lydia Jazmine, Grenade, Feffe Bussi and Tonix. The show as usual was hosted by Martha Kay and DJ Aludah made his debut appearance.

The Club Pilsner organised show lived up expectations and got fans piling praise for the exhibition. All artistes performed in the comfort of their homes.

The show started with Allan Tonix electrifying ‘Swag Meter’ performance. Tonix also did ‘Sikuleka’, ‘Romance’, and ‘Sunday’ before leaving the mic for Grenade. Grenade did his master pieces Nkuloga and Akaama among other songs and still put up a good show.

Lydia Jazmine then took over the show with her ‘Masuka’, ‘You and Me’, ‘Hit and Run’ among others. Feffe Bussi, the master of free style then closed the artistes’ show with ‘Business’, ‘Love Yo’ among others.

The party went on all night with Sir Aludah on the decks.


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Celebrity Gossip

UK Based Ugandan Singer BrenJeezy Releases Charity song Aimed at Improving lives of Less privileged Children, Watch here

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By Reporter

UK based Ugandan singer “Brenjeezy” recently released a video featuring some underprivileged children in the small town of Kawempe, Uganda. The song is called “Give Me water, Give Me Freedom, Give me life” it is about the beauty if Africa, but at the same time it highlights the poverty that many young children in uganda face. The song was written by Canadian singer/songwriter Rox Hunter and Adrian Brewer from the UK.

From this single and video we hope to raise awareness and money to help look after the children and their families. Brenjeezy has been working alongside a charity called Walk For Water, and they have been able to provide for the kids in Kawempe during the current lockdown due to covid-19 outbreak

Brenjeezy real name Brenda Caroline Walugembe has also worked with many charities in uganda before and is passionate about children.

Watch it here


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