MTN Nigeria said on Thursday the Covid-19 pandemic weighed on profits in its six months to end-June, though data revenue and traffic surged.
Service revenue increased 12.6% to 637-billion naira (R27.4bn), with the group reporting a fall-off in demand for voice services, while the pandemic also slowed its rollout of additional coverage.
Mobile subscribers increased by 6.8-million to 71.1-million, the group said, with pretax profit falling 2% to 139.6-billion naira due to increased costs.
“Following a strong first quarter, we experienced a challenging operating environment in the second quarter characterised by Covid-19-induced lockdowns and the broader macroeconomic impact it has had,” said MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman.
“We prioritised the upgrade of our network capacity to accommodate growth in traffic, while continuing to expand 4G network coverage, albeit at a slower pace given the constraints presented by Covid-19,” the statement read.
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