MTN claims they are running at LOSS in Nigeria


A day after it reported a first-ever per-share loss as a public company due to a record fine in Nigeria and weaker earnings in South Africa, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, MTN Group Ltd. reported a $357 million half-year loss on Friday and cut dividend payouts,
Founded with the South African government’s help after the end of apartheid in 1994, MTN agreed in June to pay N330 billion ($1.05 billion) fine in settlement with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM cards from its network.
MTN said the fine, a third of the initial penalty, wiped off 10.5 billion Rand, 474 cents per share, from headline earnings, South Africa’s main measure of profit that strips out certain one-off items.
MTN’s headline loss came in at 4.9 billion Rand ($357 million), or 271 cents per share, in the six months to end-June. This compared with headline earnings of almost 12 billion Rand, or 654 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company, which has more than 230 million subscribers, cut its dividend by almost 50 percent to 250 cents per share for the half year.
MTN has said its Nigerian business would pay the fine in local currency. The penalty was worth $1.7 billion when it was announced, but the naira has fallen sharply since then, cutting the equivalent dollar value by about $500 million.
The company also said the results were affected by unfavourable currency swings, underperformance in its home market and in Nigeria, where it had to cut off another 4.5 million SIM cards to comply with the local regulator’s user registration requirement.

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