MTN Rwandacell PLC reports strong top line performance in the first quarter of 2023

Author: Nadia Kangabe
On:9/05/2023 10:50
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MTN Rwandacell PLC (MTN Rwanda) has released its first quarter results for the period ended 31 March 2023 through the Rwanda Stock Exchange. The Company saw an increase in total mobile subscribers of 451,000 closing its customer base at 6.9 million at the end the first quarter.

MTN Rwandacell PLC (MTN Rwanda) has released its first quarter results for the period ended 31 March 2023 through the Rwanda Stock Exchange. The Company saw an increase in total mobile subscribers of 451,000 closing its customer base at 6.9 million at the end the first quarter. Additionally, MTN Rwanda’s subsidiary, Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd (MMRL) also continued to drive financial inclusion with an addition of 646,000 Mobile Money (MoMo) users closing the customer base at 4.4 million.  

MTN Rwanda’s Quarter one financial results surpassed our medium-term guidance despite the continued challenging macroeconomic environment where inflation rose to 19.3% in comparison to March 2022. The company’s service revenue grew by 14.9% to Rwf 58.4 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) closed at Rwf 27.0 billion, representing a 9.4% increase. The Company’s key revenue streams, data and mobile money grew by 22.2% and 43.3%, respectively, while voice services slightly declined by 1.0%.


Mark Nkurunziza, MTN Rwanda’s Chief Finance Officer, commented on the results saying, “The financial performance for the quarter ending 31 March 2023 reflects a consistently strong year on year growth. In the first quarter, our Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) EBITDA, grew by 9.4% to deliver an EBITDA margin of 45.5%, which was down 2.2pp YoY. This can be attributed to the increased cost of sales related to interconnect expenses and wholesale data cost of sales driven by an increased uptake of 4G services from the wholesale service provider. We expect an improvement in EBITDA margins in the forthcoming quarters with the implementation of our the expense efficiency program (EEP) and the launch of our own 4G network.

The Mobile Money business delivered a solid performance with a double-digit revenue growth of 43.3%, which was attributed to a growth in both Mobile Money services, as well as Xtratime, our airtime lending service. Mobile Money revenues recorded a significant growth in Merchant payments and remittance products, whilst advanced services have grown to contribute 22.5% to total Mobile Money revenues, up from 14% in Q1, 2022. Active Mobile Money subscribers grew 17.2% YoY, driven by increased total subscriber growth as well as a continued focus on customer value management activities.

                                                    Mapula Bidibe-MTN's CEO  

Remarking on the quarterly results Mapula Bodibe, MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer, said “We are happy to present our quarter one, 2023 financial performance results which recorded solid top line revenue performance and subscriber growth. We are pleased with our results, which demonstrate our ability to execute our strategic priorities and deliver sustainable long-term growth for our business. Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, we believe that our strategic intent to deliver leading digital solutions for Rwanda’s progress, and builds on our belief that Everyone Deserves the Benefit of a Modern Connected life, is aligned to Rwanda’s 2022 Broadband policy which we expect to unlock the next phase of growth as we continue to deliver on our Ambition 2025 strategy. We remain committed to creating shared value and will continue to drive innovation across our business, to bring value for our customers, shareholders and stakeholders.


In line with our commitment to prioritise shared value, MTN Rwanda continues to drive ESG initiatives in our market and place ESG issues at the core of how we operate. In March 2023, we joined the Kicukiro district community for the monthly ‘Umuganda’ and launched our Green Ambassadors initiative, a drive to encourage young people to take care of their environment and contributed Rwf 50million to support the construction of a community garden for the sector under our Green Rwanda project. Furthermore, we supported young mothers in the community with sewing machines, as a way of empowering young women to sustain their livelihoods.

 Looking ahead, we remain committed to delivering consistent network quality service to our customers and solid returns to our investors. Our operating focus for the coming quarter envisions the launch of our 4G network across the country. Moreover, our planned capital expenditure towards increased network coverage affirms our commitment to consistently improve the quality of service and deliver a network customer experience second to none.
 Our Fintech business will continue its focus to deepen financial inclusion in Rwanda with the expected rollout of additional advanced services including banktech and Insuretech solutions in the forthcoming quarters.

Concluding, Bodibe said “I would like to take a moment to express my deep appreciation to our customers, investors and all stakeholders for their unwavering support and continued commitment to the growth of our organization. Your trust and confidence in us have been vital to our success. Beyond our operational and financial performance, 2023 marks an important milestone for MTN Rwandacell Plc as we mark 25 years of existence in Rwanda. We look forward to celebrating our rich history and legacy in the country through various initiatives whilst we continue to execute on our Ambition 2025 strategy and deliver on our strategy to Lead Digital Solutions to drive Rwanda’s progress.”

The quarter one, 2023 financial performance is a representation of a consolidated view of MTN Rwanda and its subsidiary company, Mobile Money Rwanda Ltd (MMRL).

The company disclosed its full Quarter one, 2023 results through the Rwanda Stock Exchange and is expected to have a Results call on 8 May 2022.