MTN has issued a trading statement warning that it is expecting a 20% drop in headline earnings for the full year ended December 2015.
The biggest contributing factor to this decline is the company’s performance in Nigeria, it said.
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) fined MTN ₦1.04-trillion (around R71-billion at the time) in October 2015 for not disconnecting unregistered SIMs on its network.
After negotiations with Nigerian authorities, the fine was reduced by 25% to ₦780-billion.
The group said that, given the ongoing discussions taking place with the Nigerian authorities, “there remains some uncertainty as to the final quantum of the Nigerian fine, should an out of court settlement be reached”.
Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the outcome of the various engagements relating to the fine, MTN said that it is expecting to report a decrease of at least 20% in basic headline earnings per share.
This equates to a reduction of at least 307 cents for the year ended 31 December 2015, versus R15.36 from the prior year.
“The negative earnings performance has been impacted by a number of factors with the operational under-performance in Nigeria, resulting from the subscriber disconnections and the withholding of regulatory services, being a key contributor to this.”
MTN expects publish its full-year results on 3 March 2016.