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MTN expects earnings recovery

MTN's interim results for the six months to 30 June will be announced on 3 August.

MTN's interim results for the six months to 30 June will be announced on 3 August.

MTN is expecting an improvement of at least 20% in both headline earnings per share (HEPS) and earnings per share (EPS) for the six-month period ended 30 June.

This compared with a headline loss per share of 271c and attributable loss per share of 301c reported in the prior comparable period.

"The negative performance in the prior year period was mainly as a result of non-recurring costs, including the Nigeria regulatory fine of 474 cents per share (cps), professional fees related to the fine of 73cps and losses of 136cps from MTN's 51% equity interest in Nigeria Tower InterCo BV, mainly as a result of unrealised losses on US dollar-denominated loans," the group said in a statement on the JSE's Stock Exchange News Service.

In October 2015, MTN announced it was facing a N1.04 trillion (R71 billion at the time), fine from the Nigerian Communications Commission for failing to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards in the country. What followed was eight months of drama, which ultimately ended in MTN agreeing to pay N330 billion (R25 billion at the time), in six instalments over three years, to settle the fine.

Last year's interim results were significantly impacted by the Nigerian fine, as were the full-year results, for the year ended 31 December 2016, which saw a headline loss per share of 77c.

The first two instalments of the fine have been paid but the group still owes four instalments of N50 billion each, which will be paid on 31 March 2018, 31 December 2018, 31 March 2019 and 31 May 2019.

MTN's financial results for the half year ended 30 June 2017 will be announced on 3 August.

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