MTN Group just recorded its first-ever earnings per share (EPS) loss as a publicly traded company — a loss it blamed on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) N330 billion fine.
In a statement released on Thursday, MTN said it would announce the half year results on Friday, but it gave shareholders a heads-up on the coming loss.
“Following the trading statement published on 19 July 2016, shareholders are further advised that MTN expects to report for HY2016 a basic headline loss per share of between 285 cents and 255 cents and a basic loss per share of between 315 cents and 285 cents,” MTN said.
“In the prior year comparable period MTN reported headline earnings per share of 654 cents and earnings per share of 653 cents.”
MTN highlighted the factors that negatively impacted its earnings, prime of which was the Nigerian fine.
“The Nigerian regulatory fine which had a material impact on results for the period. The income statement charge reflects the present value of the balance outstanding at 10 June 2016 of N280 billion (USD1,418 billion, using the exchange rate prevailing at the time), reduced by the reversal of the provision made in December 2015 of Naira 119,6 billion (USD 600 million, using the exchange rate prevailing at the time),” it said.
“In total the net effect of the Nigerian regulatory fine on the current period was a negative impact of 474 cents per share (cps).
“MTN Nigeria’s performance was impacted by the disconnection of 4.5 million subscribers in February 2016, the final batch of subscribers to be disconnected in compliance with the Nigerian Communications Commission subscriber registration requirements.
“The withdrawal of regulatory services which were re-instated on 15 March 2016 with approval for promotions and price plans granted in early May 2016 also negatively impacting MTN Nigeria’s performance.”
MTN blamed other losses on the depreciation of the rand and operating currencies against the USD, and hyperinflation on MTN Irancell.