These solid results were supported by a growth in voice, data and mobile financial services underpinned by good operational momentum. Our subscriber base grew by 381,000 subscribers to 6.8 million. The Active data user base grew 9% compared to the previous year, with 191,000 new active data customers added to the MTN customer base in 2022. This growth was driven by the addition of over 308,000 new smartphones to the network, increasing smartphone penetration by 3.4%.
Speaking on these achievements, Mark Nkurunziza, MTN Rwanda Chief Finance Officer, highlighted “We are thrilled to announce these strong results for 2022. The renewal cost for our individual license in 2021 for Rwf 91 billion was amortised over 10 years, which impacted finance and amortization costs resulting in a 12.8% decrease in net earnings. Our Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) grew by 20.8% compared to the previous year, closing 2022 with an EBITDA margin of 48.3% that came in 0.6pp stronger than 2021. The margin improvement was primarily a result of strong revenue growth as well as a yearlong focus on expense efficiencies to contain operating expenditure growth.”
Anchored on one of our Ambition 2025 pillars, to build the largest and most valuable platforms, our subsidiary Mobile Money Rwanda Limited (MMRL) recorded an increase in the active Mobile Money subscriber base to 4.3 million users from 3.7 million users with an exponential increase in MoMo Pay merchants to 141,222 from 47,678 active merchants in 2021. Additionally, Mobile money revenue continued its strong trajectory closing at 48.4% growth compared to 2021.
“We are pleased to see that the adoption of our mobile money services by our customers and the drive from our partners, MoMoPay merchants, has translated into such strong results. This year, we are even more committed to introducing products and services that will propel financial inclusion across the nation, leaving no one behind,” commented Chantal Kagame, Mobile Money Rwanda Limited Chief Executive Officer.
Mapula Bodibe, MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer expressed that “These results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and the continued support of our board of directors, and stakeholders as well as the continued loyalty of our customers. We would like to thank and appreciate all our customers and stakeholders without whom we wouldn’t have been recognized as the 2022 top performing MTN operation across the MTN Group footprint of countries in the MTN Group ‘Million Dollar Challenge’, announced a few weeks ago. Also noteworthy, Mobile Money Rwanda Limited emerged as the overall winner of the Build the Largest and Most Value Platforms: Fintech award, being the best performing Fintech operation across the MTN Group footprint.
In 2022, we also continued our focus on investments in a sustainable future through our strategic priority Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) programme, aligned to the MTN Group commitment to achieve zero net carbon emissions by the end of 2040. MTN Rwanda launched a pilot grid-connected solar system at our data centre as a proof-of-concept project, under the localised Project Zero umbrella, for which we foresee expansion in the coming years.
Building on our commitment to “Lead Digital Solutions for Rwanda’s Progress”, MTN Rwanda in partnership with our telecom tower provider IHS Rwanda Ltd donated laptops and subsidized data to schools for the second year in a row as part of the ongoing nationwide school digitization programme.
“This year, we are excited to be celebrating twenty-five years of operation in Rwanda. Our journey in this nation of a thousand hills has been one of growth and innovation. We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone throughout the year. There’s a lot in store for our customers under the theme “Tubitayeho” including a number of events and giveaways, appreciating all our stakeholders and partners for their continued support and trust over the years,” added Bodibe.
Looking ahead, we are at the mid-way point of the execution of the MTN Group Ambition 2025 strategy and the beginning of the implementation of Rwanda’s new broadband policy, which presents even more exciting growth prospects for MTN Rwanda. We are focused on delivering on the policy expectations which are in line with MTN’s ambition to lead digital solutions for Rwanda’s progress.
“We look forward to building on the success we achieved in 2022. The Company is well-positioned for future growth, with plans to introduce new products and services, underpinned by a continued focus on improved network and customer experience,” concluded Bodibe.
About MTN Rwandacell Plc
MTN Rwandacell Plc (MTN Rwanda) is the market leader in mobile telecommunications in Rwanda. Since 1998, it has continuously invested in expanding and modernising its network.
MTN Rwanda offers various services to subscribers, including innovative propositions such as personalised voice and data offers with MTN Irekure. The company is also the front runner in mobile financial services in Rwanda with Mobile Money, MoMoPay and MoKash Loans and Savings.