MTN Grows Profit Before Tax by 57% in 2018

MTNA customer uses a mobile phone beside an MTN Group Ltd. 'Connect Point' in Lagos, Nigeria. Photographer: George Osodi
  • MTN Grows Profit Before Tax by 57% in 2018

MTN Group reported a profit before tax of R15 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.

The financial results filed on Wednesday showed the telecoms giant grew profit before tax by 56.8 per cent when compared to R9.57 billion generated in 2017.

The firm announced its plans to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange latest by June 2019.

The company further revealed that the growth recorded in earnings in Nigeria did not include the R744 million or $53 million paid to the Central Bank of Nigeria, and that earnings were mainly driven by double-digit growth in services, fintech revenue and data.

The $53 million was paid on January 4, 2019, according to the company.

In Nigeria, service revenue grew by 17.2 per cent, data revenue improved by 39.3 per cent, voice revenue climbed by 18.7 per cent and fintech revenue, which includes airtime lending and e-commerce jumped by 39.3 per cent.

Digital revenue, however, declined by 58.5 per cent during the period. The company attributed it to further optimisation of value-added services, but expressed confidence there would be digital revenue growth in 2019.

The Johannesburg-based company announced it has agreed to sell its 53 per cent stake in Bostwana’s Mascom to Econet Global Ltd. for $300 million and will be selling stakes in other businesses to raise 15 billion ($1.1 billion) to support its balance sheet.

The company’s shares climbed the most in almost three years on Thursday after the announcement as investors jumped on it stocks.

Commenting on the results, Fordi Moolman, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “MTN plans to list by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange during the first half of 2019 and is looking to simplify the capital structure ahead of this listing.

“Managing regulatory issues and improving relationships and risk management remain key focus areas for the group, and we will continue to strengthen these areas in 2019,” Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, said.

“The company’s listing on the exchange will create a new telecoms asset class for investors and provide an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to participate in our investment story.”

Moolman added, “In 2018, we rebuilt the base; adding another six million Nigerians to our network, giving a total of 58 million people access to worldwide communication services.”

MTN launched a new smart feature phone to further strengthen its market position and enhance penetration.

About the Author

Samed Olukoya
CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya; Email: [email protected]

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