Africa’s largest mobile carrier by subscriber base, MTN Group said it expects an improvement of at least 20% in both headline earnings per share (HEPS) and earnings per share (EPS) for HY ended 30 June 2017.
MTN Group is present in Nigeria as the largest mobile carrier. The company reported a weaker result within the same period last year after non-recurring expenses such as its NGN330 billion fine in Nigeria weighed down on its balance sheet.
The latest earnings forecast will be a major boost to its share price. Last year, MTN reported its first full year loss after it deducted Nigeria’s regulatory fine from its books.
The company is also facing a lack of growth in South Africa, its home base where it is competing with Vodacom, the largest carrier that overtook MTN Group by market capitalisation.
Apart from the impact of Nigeria’s first recession in 20 years which has disrupted the revenue base of all carriers, the telecoms market has been facing much turbulence. MTN Nigeria’s headache is non-comparable to the 9Mobile Telecom, formerly Etisalat Nigeria. The latter has been in a fix after it could not meet up with its USD1.2 billion loan obligations owed to a consortium of 13 local lenders and international banks.
9Mobile Telecom which changed its name from its earlier identity is said to be focusing on meeting its loan obligations and also reaching profitability.
Other carriers, Globacom Nigeria Limited, the second largest carrier and Airtel Nigeria, a local unit of India’s Bharti Airtel Holding B.V., are also facing similar pressures.
MTN Group did not also comment on its planned IPO in Nigeria. Earlier this month, Nikiwe Tsaagane, who spoke on behalf of Nigeria’s largest mobile carrier said the IPO will
“Offer important role in capital market as it will be one of the largest transactions in Africa. This will showcase Nigeria in the global economy if we can achieve it.
“The transaction is structured by ensuring that it’s data based and inclusive as we ensure that our Nigerian customers are able to participate,” he said.
It would be recalled that MTN had called off the IPO planned to debut this year on the Nigerian Stock Exchange after the company complained of regulatory conditions that are not favourable to its operations.
Johannesburg-based MTN Group is expected to release the full result for the half year on Thursday, 3rd of August, 2017.