Telecoms company, MTN, has announced that its group President and Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, would be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021.

The company said it would implement its succession plan this year and ensure a seamless handover to the new group president and CEO, in its full-year financial report for the period ended December 31, 2019.

“MTN announced that the group president and CEO Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract in March 2021. The board thanks Rob for the contribution he has made, and continues to make, to MTN,” the report stated.

MTN said it added 18 million new subscribers in 2019 to reach 251million subscribers as revenue grew by 9.7 per cent and service revenue grew by 9.8 per cent.

Commenting on the results, Shuter said the group delivered commercial momentum across its operations despite challenging trading conditions in South Africa due to prevailing economic conditions and new data usage rules.

He explained that the double-digit growth in service revenue by both MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana boosted the company’s financial results.

“We added 18 million customers to reach a total of 251 million and increased our data users by 17 million to 95 million and our fintech customers by 7 million to 35 million. This growth is central to our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. We also saw improvements in customer experience, network quality and market share across the group.

“We launched MoMo in South Africa and Afghanistan and received our super-agent licence in Nigeria, registering more than 100 000 agents by year-end. We also delivered R14 billion of asset realisations within the first 12 months of our programme and MTN Nigeria listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.”

According to Shuter, the company recorded progress on various regulatory issues, including Nigeria’s Attorney General Of the Federation tax matter.

He noted that relationships with stakeholders across its markets improved and it reported the highest employee sustainable engagement score yet.

MTN said its Chief Technology and IT Officer, Charles Molapisi, had been appointed to the group executive committee and the fixed contract of the group chief operations officer, Jens Schulte-Bockum, had been extended until 31 March 2022.

“We are well-positioned for growth. Guided by our well-defined BRIGHT strategy, we are building our growth strategy on our digital operator model while optimizing efficiencies, capex and cash flow.

“Following data price reductions in South Africa and Nigeria in 2019, we expect price elasticity to improve data revenue growth in 2020, supported by expanded 4G coverage in Nigeria and across the group. We will continue to scale up our fintech and digital services as well as grow our enterprise and wholesale businesses,” he said.

The telecom company said it had maintained its service revenue, EBITDA margin, capex intensity and increased our asset disposal target by a further R25 billion over the medium term.