Business Insider SSA by Pulse's analysis of the reports show that while Airtel Nigeria posted 22.2% growth in revenue to N112.6 million, MTN Nigeria's revenue increased by 34.8% to N98.93 million in the first half of 2019.

The two telecom firms recently listed on the Nigerian bourse.

Other highlights of the financial reports

MTN Nigeria:

  • Voice revenue increased by 11.4%
  • Data revenue increased by 31.7%

Airtel Nigeria:

  • Voice revenue increased by 12.7%
  • Data revenue was up 73.1%  
MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria data and voice revenue for the first half of 2019
MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria data and voice revenue for the first half of 2019

The plans ahead for the CEOs

Ferdinand Moolman, MTN Nigeria CEO, said: ”In the first half of 2019, we sustained a solid performance, delivering double-digit growth in service revenue, underpinned by growth in voice and data revenue. We added 3.3 million customers to our network, increasing our subscriber base to 61.5 million. Pleasingly we saw data subscribers increase in the period by 2.1 million to 20.7 million.

We made significant network investments to improve network quality and expand our 40 coverage. Our recent work to revamp our data prices and accelerate our 40 networks has put us in a strong competitive position to offer more value to our customers, supporting data and voice revenue growth which will ultimately strengthen our business. “We are pleased with obtaining a super-agent license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enable us to build an agent network and accelerate the growth of our Fintech business.”

Raghunath Mandava, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa Plc, said, “I am pleased to report a strong start to the financial year, in our first quarterly results since the IPO. These results, which are in line with our expectations, are clear evidence of the effectiveness of our strategy across Voice, Data and Mobile Money.

"We also continue to prepare for the launch of our Mobile Money business in Nigeria, securing approval of the brand name, an important step as we await approval for our payment service bank license. The business continues to show momentum and we are confident of delivering sustained growth across Voice, Data and Mobile Money, underpinning our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth.” 

Subscribers' base as at May 2019:

  • Airtel Nigeria - 45.93 million
  • MTN Nigeria - 65.26 million
MTN and Airtel current subscribers' base
MTN and Airtel current subscribers' base

Further analysis also showed that MTN Nigeria's EBITDA grew by 40% to N304.9 billion while Airtel Nigeria increased by 41.7% to N60.01 billion. 

MTn and Airtel EBITDA (Source: MTN N and Airtel Africa Plc financial statements)
MTn and Airtel EBITDA (Source: MTN N and Airtel Africa Plc financial statements)