Malawi's Profit Making TNM Targets Data Growth

Lilongwe — TELEKOM Networks Malawi (TNM) has recorded a 27 percent increase in profits to K16,6 billion (US$21,97 million in dividend for 2018 on the back of cost control measures and a stable macro-economic environment.

Overall revenue grew by 15 percent to K91,18 billion in 2018, up from K79.59 billion in 2017, driven mainly by voice business, followed by data.

Voice business contributed 76,1 percent to revenue, followed by data at 15,4 percent, mobile money (Mpamba) at 4,3 percent and enterprise services 4,2 percent.

Revenue from voice grew 10 percent to K67,7 billion from K61,33 billion.

Responding to a shareholder from Mpemba in Blantyre who queried why TNM's voice rates appeared lower than those of Airtel, and why the company was not adjusting them upwards to ensure it maintained profitability, Chairman George Partridge, said this model was changing.

"That will change. We expect the business to be driven more by data than voice in the longer term," he said.

Partridge said TNM's evolution into a data business was supported by substantial investments in upgrades of its 4G network, which reached K19,31 billion in 2018 from K15,84 billion in 2017.

"TNM's evolution from a mobile telecommunications company to a customer centric ICT and multimedia company has been steadily gaining momentum," he said in a report.

He stated the 4G platform, which TNM pioneered in 2017, remained a key market differentiator.

The annual report also notes that following an upgrade of TNM's mobile money business--modelled on Kenya Safaricom's famous M-pesa--customer base had grown strongly with attributable revenues increasing by 54 percent year-on-year.

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