MTN to return to profit after first annual loss due to Nigeria fine
MTN, Africa's largest mobile operator, said it expects to return to profit in the 2017 half-year after the company suffered its first annual loss last year due to the payment of a regulatory fine in Nigeria.
The Johannesburg-based company said it expects 2017 half-year headline earnings per share (HEPS) to be between 210 cents and 230 cents, compared with a headline loss per share of 271 cents in the similar period last year. (HEPS is South Africa's main profit measure, which strips off oneoff items).
“The negative performance in the prior comparable period was mainly as a result of non-recurring costs, including the Nigeria regulatory fine of 474 cents per share which was fully expensed in prior periods,” the company said.
In June last year, MTN reached a deal with Nigerian authorities to pay N330 billion over three years to settle the regulatory fine imposed on its Nigerian unit for failing to disconnect five million unregistered SIM cards. As part of the deal, MTN also agreed to list MTN Nigeria on the Lagos bourse, subject to market conditions.
Phuthuma Nhleko, Executive Chairman, MTN Group