MTN Group has announced that it lost $200m in 2016 – the first full-year loss of the company in its 22 years of existence.
TheCable had earlier reported that the South African telecommunications company was expecting a full-year loss as a result of the N330bn regulatory fine imposed on it by the federal government.
In 2016, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) imposed the fine on the telecommunication giant over its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards.
In its report, the company said the action of NCC contributed to its loss.
“MTN Group’s financial results for 2016 reflect the most challenging year in the company’s 22-year history,” a statement by the company read.
“The performance in Nigeria was hurt by the forced disconnection of 4.5 million customers by the government a year ago, regulatory penalties and the weakness of the naira against the dollar.
“In South Africa, lower demand for mobile-phone contracts weighed on earnings.
“Towards the end of 2016 our two largest operations (South Africa and Nigeria)… began to show signs of a turnaround following an extended period of under-performance.”
The company, which reported profits of 20.2 billion rand ($1.6bn) before tax for 2015, said revenue was fractionally up for the year at 146.9 billion rand ($11.3bn).
In August 2016, MTN announced its first-ever half year loss.
MTN said it expects to add 8.3 million new users in the 2017 financial year.
It said its total subscribers increased by 3.3% or 7.7 million to 240 million in 2016.