MTN, the prominent African telecommunications company, is reportedly considering withdrawing from three markets on the continent, as indicated by a report from Business Insider Africa. The mobile operator, which currently operates in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, has initiated discussions about the potential “orderly exit” from its operations in Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, and Liberia.
While the specific reasons for the contemplated exit have not been disclosed, MTN’s financial reports highlight multiple challenges faced in the West and Central Africa region. CEO Ralph Mupita cited signs of inflation and currency devaluation in various markets. The company’s 2022 financial year-end report revealed a 1.7 percentage point decline in the EBITDA margin to 33.1%, attributed to pricing pressures, fintech channel subsidies, and macroeconomic challenges, including local currency devaluations and increased inflation.
According to Bloomberg, these three countries contribute only 1.6% to MTN’s total revenue in 2022, making them relatively minor contributors. MTN holds a substantial market share in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry, accounting for approximately 30%, while in Liberia, Lonestar MTN is the second-largest telecom provider in the country.