MTN Group released a statement saying that it expects to report a loss on HEPS (headline earnings per share) for the 2016 financial year due, significantly, to the regulatory fine imposed on it in Nigeria.
“Shareholders are therefore advised that MTN expects to report negative basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) and basic earnings per share (EPS) for HY2016. In the prior year comparable period MTN reported HEPS of 654 cents and EPS of 653 cents.” MTN Group said in the statement.
In 2016 MTN Group finally agreed that its Nigerian subsidiary, MTN Nigeria, will pay Nigerian authorities $1.05bnfine for missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM cards from its network. MTN Nigeria is also the largest mobile operator in Nigeria accounting for a third of MTN Group's revenues.
"Shareholders are therefore advised that MTN expects to report negative basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) and basic earnings per share (EPS) for HY2016."MTN Group Limited
It is not only the Nigerian subsidiary that contributed to the expected losses, but MTN South Africa too. With MTN saying that MTN South Africa is expected "to report a decline in the Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) margin, impacted by the marked
increase in handsets sold during HY2016."
With this announcement shares in MTN Group on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange fell more than 4 percent at market open today and went on to reach lowest levels since December 2016 during the day.