MTN Group has finalised its exit from Jumia, a Pan-African e-commerce platform, selling its 18.9 per cent stakes and raking in R2.3bn ($138m ) from the deal.
The Group President and CEO, Ralph Mupita, made this known in the company’s third-quarter financial report released on Friday.
The company had early last year hinted at its plan to raise about $600m from a private sale of its shares in Jumia.
The telecoms group’s also reported increased earnings, which were boosted by the strong performance of its operations in South Africa and Nigeria.
MTN CEO said its Nigerian unit had declared and paid its final dividend for 2019, as well as its interim 2020 dividend, totalling R5.4bn as of September 2020.
According to Mupita, there are delays in the repatriation of the cash to the group in Q3 due to challenges scarcity of foreign currency in Nigeria.
Mupita expressed optimism that the availability of dollars would improve in the last quarter of the year and upstreaming of dividends would resume.
He said overall data traffic had remained at elevated levels, although it had eased from the peaks.
He noted that voice traffic and revenue, which initially came under significant pressure, had recovered and the fintech revenue had increased month-on-month.
Comparing the September 2020 level for the group’s data traffic against April 2020, Mupita said the level of activity was 10.2 per cent higher, and up 8.9 per cent QoQ in Q3.
The CEO attributed the rising data demand to shifts in consumer spending patterns during the peak periods of lockdowns and restrictions as funds that would been directed elsewhere were channelled into data and other digital services.
“For our largest markets on the same basis: MTN SA was up by two per cent (and 4.1 per cent QoQ), MTN Nigeria increased by 22.1 per cent (and 15.2 per cent QoQ), while MTN Ghana was up by 9.3 per cent (and 5.6 per cent QoQ),” he said.
“As restrictions have been lifted, we have observed some reversal in this trend. Since April 2020, during which the effects of COVID-19 were the most severe, the trajectory for voice has been encouraging. Group voice traffic was up by 11.5 per cent at the end of September 2020 compared to the April 2020 level.
“For MTN SA, voice traffic was seven per cent higher in September versus April, MTN Nigeria was up by 14.1 per cent and MTN Ghana had increased by 5.6 per cent. These trends are evidence of the recovery in voice traffic since the most severe impacts of COVID-19.”
According to Mupita, the commercial trends in fintech had also recovered strongly from the April 2020 level, with group fintech transaction volumes in September 2020 up by 38.7 per cent on the April 2020 level and up 23.1 per cent QoQ.