CityPress - - Business - JUSTIN BROWN justin.brown@city­

The new boss of MTN, Rob Shuter, has am­bi­tious plans for the group. These in­clude sub­stan­tially in­creas­ing the com­pany’s to­tal cus­tomer num­bers as well as sub­scribers to its data and dig­i­tal prod­ucts. The for­mer Voda­fone Euro­pean CEO who joined MTN in March said this week at his first ma­jor pub­lic ap­pear­ance as MTN group CEO that he saw big growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in the 22 coun­tries in Africa and the Mid­dle East, where the com­pany is present, given the pro­jected pop­u­la­tion growth by 2020.

From 2016 to 2020 Shuter is ex­pect­ing the pop­u­la­tion to grow by 7% to 700 mil­lion in the 22 coun­tries. How­ever, he is pro­ject­ing MTN’s cus­tomer base will grow by 29% dur­ing the same pe­riod from 232 mil­lion to 300 mil­lion.

Shuter sees even big­ger po­ten­tial in the data and dig­i­tal sec­tions of MTN’s busi­ness.

He said that from 2016 to 2020, MTN was pro­ject­ing the sub­scriber base for data and dig­i­tal prod­ucts in the 22 coun­tries would grow by 67% to 500 mil­lion and

250 mil­lion, re­spec­tively.

Shuter is also fore­cast­ing mas­sive growth of 178% in MTN’s com­pany-wide data sub­scribers from 72 mil­lion to 200 mil­lion by 2020 and an ex­pan­sion of 456% in the group’s dig­i­tal sub­scribers, which are cur­rently com­prised mainly of the com­pany’s mo­bile money cus­tomers, from 18 mil­lion to 100 mil­lion.

Shuter said in fu­ture, the def­i­ni­tion of dig­i­tal sub­scribers was likely to ex­pand be­yond mo­bile fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­clud­ing reg­u­lar pur­chas­ing of music and video stream­ing.

In the first half of this year, MTN gen­er­ated a 10% hike in data rev­enue to al­most R14 bil­lion while dig­i­tal rev­enue de­clined by 9% to R6.5 bil­lion.

By 2020, the group is fore­cast­ing to­tal rev­enue po­ten­tial across all 22 coun­tries of R815 bil­lion made up of

R575 bil­lion of con­sumer rev­enue – in­clud­ing dig­i­tal, data and voice – R210 bil­lion in en­ter­prise-re­lated rev­enue and R30 bil­lion of whole­sale rev­enue.

In com­par­i­son, last year MTN gen­er­ated rev­enue of R147 bil­lion.

Turk­cell is tak­ing MTN to court seek­ing to claim

$4.2 bil­lion (R56 bil­lion) for al­leged bribery and cor­rup­tion re­lated to the se­cur­ing of a li­cence in Iran.

Shuter said the Turk­cell ac­tion was “com­pletely spu­ri­ous”.

“We will not be bul­lied – we will de­fend our­selves very vig­or­ously.”

Shuter said that MTN had agreed to set­tle a fine of $8.5 mil­lion with the Rwan­dan gov­ern­ment.

The fine was im­posed on MTN Rwanda af­ter it failed to Source: MTN

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