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MTN South Africa eyes 50 percent profit from 2019

MTN is the ninth largest celluar operator in the world and largest in Africa, active in over 20 countries, and third of MTN core profit comes from Nigeria.

MTN, South African multinational mobile telecommunications company is expecting to gather full-year headline profit up to 50 per cent, which is still a slow-down from the previous years attributed by interest on regulatory fines in Nigeria, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, MTN, which is due to report 2019 results on March 11, 2020, said headline earnings per share (HEPS) would likely be within a range of 438 cents to 506 cents on the IFRS 16 accounting basis adopted at the start of the year.

That compares to 337 cents in the previous year. On a like-for-like IAS 17 accounting basis, MTN expects to report growth in HEPS – a key profit measure in South Africa that strips out one-off items – of between 55 per cent and 75 per cent.

However, that is still slower than the 85 per cent jump the company reported in 2018. It attributed the slowdown mainly to items outside its regular business, including interest on the Nigerian fines, foreign exchange losses, and hyperinflation adjustments.

It also said it anticipated some drag from write-downs on payments linked to its business in Iran, and the impact of asset sales made during the year, Reuters reported.

Founded in 1994, MTN South Africa is the biggest corporate success story, and yet it has found itself in-a-hard turn with regulators, discouraging management and pinched growth.

However, in 2018, the group agreed to pay $53 million to resolve a dispute with the Central Bank of Nigeria, which had accused MTN of sending abroad $8.1 billion using improperly issued paperwork.

According to information from Reuters, MTN Nigeria was fined $1.1 million for failing to cut off more than 5 million unregistered SIM cards, a substantial reduction from the original $3 billion penalty handed down in 2015.

Also, Reuters reported that in January Nigeria’s attorney general withdrew a $2 billion tax demand against the group, bringing to a close its latest disagreement with the government.

Source: The Exchange

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