MTN re­turns to strong profit af­ter FG fine

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter yes­ter­day said the com­pany has recorded huge prof­its in its first half of 2017 oper­a­tions.

Dur­ing the pe­riod, the com­pany made a post-tax profit of ZAR4.9 bil­lion (about $370m) com­pared with a loss of ZAR6.3 bil­lion ($470m) in the same pe­riod in 2016.

Its fig­ures for H1[first half] 2016 were heav­ily im­pacted by pay­ing the first in­stal­ment of a $1.67 bil­lion fine im­posed by the Nige­rian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (NCC), which was sig­nif­i­cantly larger than the H1 2017 in­stal­ment.

On a coun­try-by-coun­try ba­sis, the com­pany pointed to strong re­sults in Nige­ria, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana in the open­ing six months of 2017.

How­ever, MTN added that it had also been im­pacted by hy­per­in­fla­tion.

The in­crease in us­age of dig­i­tal and data ser­vices by cus­tomers drove the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial growth in the first half of 2017, though for­eign ex­change move­ments and macro-eco­nomic con­di­tions con­tin­ued to ham­per its per­for­mance in Su­dan and Syria along with op­er­a­tional is­sues in Cameroon, where the data net­work was pe­ri­od­i­cally un­avail­able in some ar­eas dur­ing the first half of the year.

In a state­ment to in­vestors Shuter said: “We are see­ing pleas­ing progress in our key growth driv­ers of data and dig­i­tal ser­vices against head­winds of chal­leng­ing macro-eco­nomic con­di­tions and for­eign ex­change cur­rency pres­sures.”

He added its fo­cus for H2 was to con­tinue its on­go­ing re­view of oper­a­tions and com­plete its net­work in­vest­ment pro­gramme across its mar­kets.

He said the num­ber of cus­tomers across the group tak­ing data ser­vices in­creased 8.3 per cent year on year to ac­count for 28 mil­lion of its 231.8 mil­lion cus­tomers by the end of June. Group sub­scriber num­bers de­clined from 232.6 mil­lion at the same time in 2016.

Ad­justed fig­ures to re­move sharp cur­rency move­ments in sev­eral of its mar­kets put rev­enue up 6.7 per cent year on year to $4.8 bil­lion.

The com­pany said the de­cline in con­nec­tions was a re­sult of “the Group’s ini­tia­tive to mod­ernise sub­scriber def­i­ni­tions” to re­flect the “chang­ing mix of rev­enue streams.

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