MTN Group's financial results for the first quarter of 2017 have revealed good growth in revenue for the telecommunications company in Cameroon,Uganda, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

The results are encouraging for MTN as they come on the back of them reporting their first loss, $108 million, in 20 years for the 2016 financial year.

"Group total revenue increased by 7,1% with data revenues up 29,4% year-on-year YoY). Data revenue contributed 20% to total revenue;" said MTN in a statement announcing the 2017 first quarter financial results.

Despite recently rumored lay-offs at MTN Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of the pan Afrikan telecommunications company did well in the first quaarter of 2017 with a reported 11,6% increase in total revenue which was influenced by by a 71,3% increase in data revenue. This is despite a decline of 2,3% of MTN Nigeria subscribers.

Highlights from MTN's other subsidiaries:

  • MTN Cameroon experienced a particularly challenging period according to the company especially given the three month Internet shutdown in North-West and South-West areas. Data revenue grew to 9,8% as the data network shutdown affected in excess of 20% of their subscriber base. Mobile money revenue in Cameroon increased by an astounding 390%.

  • MTN Uganda's mobile money revenue increased 34,0% and now contributes 22% of total revenue for the Ugandan subsidiary. There was also surprisingly an 11,5% increase in on-net voice revenue, adding 312,000 subscribers during the first quarter too.

  • MTN Ghana saw 55,2% increase in data revenue. Mobile money now accounts for 13% of MTN Ghana's total revenue. All these positive news are on the back of MTN Ghana reporting a decline in subscribers in the quarter of 2,5 million.

  • MTN Ivory Coast reported a 9,4% revenue growth. Data revenue increased 84,1% while mobile money revenue increasing by 32,5%.

  • MTN South Africa reported service revenue up 4,1%. Data and digital revenue increased by 17,8% and 20,3% respectively, while outgoing voice revenue declined 5,4% YoY as billable minutes declined by 7,5%. Subscribers in South Africa declined in the quarter.

  • MTN Irancell saw data revenue increasing by 76,7% YoY with subscribers decreasing by 1,4% driven by a decline in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

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