MTN experiences double-digit growth in Nigeria

African operator MTN Group has reported double-digit revenue growth in Q1 2014, following a notable increase in subscriber numbers in Nigeria.

Nigeria is one of MTN’s largest markets and the company added 1.1 million users in the country in April, following the removal of a ban on SIM-card sales imposed in March.

The figure contributed to a 2% rise in total customers over the four-month period, Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO at MTN Group, said at the company’s AGM in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday.

“This trend is expected to continue for at least the next two quarters, reflecting the adjustments made to retail tariffs,” said Dabengwa. “Growing data services and mobile money are key areas of focus for the group as traditional voice revenue remains under pressure.”

Data revenue increased 43% compared with the same period last year, and now contributes 17% of total sales.

In South Africa, sales growth dropped following a reduction from the country’s regulator of the amount MTN is allowed to charge smaller companies to use its network.

MTN upgraded its 3G network in Nigeria late last year, and earlier this year, partnered with Swedish vendor Ericsson for the delivery of managed services in Nigeria.