JSE-listed MTN this week said it expected a drop of at least 20% in its earnings for the year to December 31, owing to an operational underperformance in Nigeria on the back of subscriber disconnections and withholding of regulatory services, besides others.
The expected 307c reduction in headline earnings per share (HEPS), from the R15.36 a share posted in the prior year, emerged as MTN continued discussions with the Nigerian authorities around the final quantum of a fine incurred for failing to disconnect users of unregistered SIM cards.
In October last year, the Nigerian Communications Commission imposed a $5.2-billion fine on MTN Nigeria, but later reduced the fine to $3.4-billion.
“Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the outcome of the various engagements relating to the fine, shareholders are advised that, excluding the fine, the company is expecting to report a decrease of at least 20% in HEPS,” MTN said in an update to shareholders.
MTN would publish its final results on March 3.
The company's shares on the JSE fell by as much as 16% in early trade on Friday.