The two telecommunication giants MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa are the kings among the thirty most liquid and capitalized firms (NGX-30), leading the pack in terms of profitability and revenue even amid a challenging macroeconomic environment.
And procrastinators have maintained a positive outlook for the sector on the back of strong data, data payment service, and the launch of 5 G network.
It is noteworthy that Airtel African that was admitted into the NGX30 index in the second quarter posted revenue of N1.03 trillion in the first half of the year, according to the information on its website.
And that compares with the sales value of MTN Nigeria, N950 billion; Dangote Cement, N808 billion; Flour Mills, N678 billion; Access Bank, N592 billion; N504 billion; Zenith Bank, N405 billion; UBA, N363 billion; FBNH Holdings, N359 billion; Nigerian Breweries, N274 billion;
Guaranty Trust Holdings, N239 billion; Nestle, N222 billion; and Seplat, N219 billion.
MTN Nigeria has the largest profit (N269 billion), and that compares to Dangote Cement, (N265 billion); Airtel Africa, N265 billion; Zenith, N130 billion; Ecobank, N109 billion; Guaranty Trust Holdings, N103 billion; Access Bank, N98 billion; Seplat, N87 billion; UBA, N86 billion, and BUA Cement, N75 billion.
For these telco firms, their winters have been short and harvest bountiful as they have been recording double digit growth in earnings, and the coronavirus pandemic was a boon for them because data usage was driven by customers who were forced to stay at home and surf the internet on their mobile applications.
Airtel Africa’s year-to-date which is among the best 10 performing stocks on the bourse stood at 109.23 as of Monday, October 4, which outperformed NGXASI index 14.43 percent YTD.
Analysts at Chapel Hill Denham Limited in a note to clients said the disciplined implementation of cost efficiency strategies helped bolster MTN Nigeria’s profit margin.
They added that half of MTNN’s subscribers have smartphones and works are underway to drive the acquisition of 5G-enabled smartphones by customers.
“Considering the energy price pressure, Airtel Africa is working with tower companies to move some of the energy sources from diesel to battery and solar power,” said the analysts.
The total profit before tax (PBT) of the companies in the NGX 30 was up 26 percent to N1.51 trillion, with average PBT margin improving to 23.5% in the first half (H1-22) from 22.1 percent in H1-21, according to data gathered by Chapel Hill Denham.
On 19 May 2022, Airtel Africa announced that Smartcash had commenced operations in Nigeria. Services were initially made available at selected retail touch points, and operations are now being expanded gradually across the country.
“This marks the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in Nigeria, to help further digitise the Nigerian economy, and to help bank the unbanked by reaching the millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services,” said the company.