MTN tops world telecom operators in revenue growth

The MTN Group topped the list of 16 world leading telecom service providers in terms of revenue growth over the past three years, a service provider benchmarking research by TeleGeography has said. Highlights of the report copied to Ghana News Agency under the heading �MTN, Bharti and Zain race ahead as Europeans flounder�, on Tuesday noted that the top achievers more than doubled their respective revenues over the three years period. �Leading the growth chart are MTN, Bharti and Zain which have all more than doubled their revenues in the last three years. A chat in the report indicated that MTN made increased revenue by 140 per cent, Bharti Airtel of India, 120 per cent, and Zain came third with about 110 per cent over the three year period. �All those achieving the highest growth have been focused on wireless markets in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, India and China,� the report noted. The only other company, from a developing market, which also doubled revenue (100 per cent) over the period, was US-based AT&T, which achieved its feat via acquisition and reconsolidation of US service providers rather than organic growth. The report noted that despite being substantially larger companies than the top ranked three, Vodafone, seventh on the list, America Movil (fifth) and China Mobile (sixth) recorded growth between 45 percent and 70 percent range. The report also showed that four of the bottom ranked five companies, British Telecom (BT), Deutsche Telekom (DT), France Telecom (FT) and Telefonica, were incumbent operators from four of Western Europe�s largest markets. �In a nutshell all five bottom-ranked companies have stood still for three years - BT and NTT in particular are locked into their highly competitive and low-growth home markets, and are also primarily dependent on wireline markets,� it said. The report said Telefonica, DT and FT had all taken great strides in the past to build businesses beyond their home countries, adding that collectively they now generated over 55 per cent of their revenues from beyond their home markets. It said over the last three years the trio had been held back by tough competition and diminishing growth in the Western European region, and, in the case of DT, difficulties growing its US operation. �The results of their efforts in Latin America and Eastern Europe have not been sufficiently robust to generate substantial revenue growth for the consolidated groups,� it said. TeleGeography Chief Executive, John Dinsdale was quoted as saying that growth often had a more direct impact on profitability and the strength of a business, adding that the next five years would see the growth rate of telecoms markets drop to less than half of what had been experienced over the last five years. He said those companies, which were better equipped to meet and beat market growth rates would be more richly rewarded. The full report focuses on analysis of revenues, profitability, subscribers, average revenue per user (ARPU), growth rates, geographic footprint, market share, competitive positioning and future growth prospects. It is published as part of TeleGeography�s GlobalComms Insight service which is a companion to the GlobalComms Database, a regularly updated online database of wireline, wireless and broadband competition. MTN Ghana, one of the earners in the West and Central Africa (WECA) region currently boast of eight million subscribers, representing 55 per cent of the 15.1 million total cellular subscribers in Ghana. In 2009 alone MTN Ghana�s subscriber base grew by 24 per cent and that translates into relatively huge cash inflows for the market leader.