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MTN warns of big earnings decline

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MTN expects to post a loss for the financial year ended 31 December 2016, with earning impacted by at least 20% and possibly substantially more.
The company today issued a trading statement warning shareholders that it expects to report a loss in basic headline earnings per share (HEPS) and basic earnings per share (EPS) for the year. In the prior year comparable period MTN reported HEPS of 1 204 cents and EPS of 746 cents.
The expected decline in the HEPS and EPS is mainly as a result of the regulatory fine imposed on MTN Nigeria, following a resolution with the Federal Government of Nigeria on 10 June 2016. The Nigerian regulatory fine is expected to have an estimated negative impact of approximately 474 cents on HEPS and EPS, respectively.
Other contributing factors to the negative HEPS and EPS for the year are foreign exchange losses in a number of operations, losses from joint ventures and associates, additional depreciation resulting from prior hyperinflation adjustments in MTN Irancell ,the Zakhele Futhi tax and share-based payment charges and professional fees incurred in respect of the settlement of the Nigeria regulatory fine and planned listing.
MTN states that its results are also expected to be negatively impacted by the under-performance of MTN Nigeria and MTN South Africa in the first half of 2016.
MTN Nigeria’s first half performance was impacted by the disconnection of 4,5-million subscribers in February 2016 in compliance with the Nigerian Communications Commission subscriber registration requirements.
The withdrawal of regulatory services, which was resolved in May 2016, the weak economy and the depreciation of the Naira against the US dollar also negatively impacted MTN Nigeria’s performance.
Consolidated results in rand terms from Nigeria were affected by the weaker Naira in the second half of the year.
Disappointing results from MTN South Africa in the first six months were largely due to poor postpaid performance, the group states.
A further trading statement will be issued once the company obtains a reasonable degree of certainty as to the likely range within which the HEPS and EPS are expected to be finalised.