MTN projects 50% rise in earnings

MTN Group Limited, the parent company of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, has projected a 50 per cent rise in its highline earnings for the year ended December 2019 despite some of the issues the telecommunications company had experienced in some of its major markets, including Nigeria.

The telecommunication giant has projected its headline earnings per share for the period to be within the range of 438 to 506 cents ahead of the result, which is expected to be released in March.

Recall that MTN Nigeria, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange last year as part of a settlement agreement between the company and Nigerian regulators over an infraction committed by the company in 2015 when it failed to deactivate up to five million unregistered SIM cards.

The company was also fined the sum of N1.04 trillion over this infraction, although it ended up paying just N330 million.

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More regulatory troubles trailed MTN Nigeria, especially in 2018 when it was accused by the Central Bank of Nigeria of illegally repatriating $8.1 billion to South Africa. The Office of Nigeria’s Attorney General also demanded that the company should pay back the sum of $2 billion, which it was accused of owing in back taxes.

MTN denied both allegations and even dragged the Attorney General’s Office to court over the tax issue. However, the company ended up agreeing to pay the sum of $53 million to resolve the issue with the Central Bank of Nigeria. As for the $2 billion tax demand, it was dismissed last month after the tax demand was withdrawn.

MTN Nigeria’s share price opened trading on the NSE today at N115 and is currently trading at N120.

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