Telecoms

MTN's top brass cashes in millions

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MTN group CEO and president Rob Shuter.
MTN group CEO and president Rob Shuter.

MTN executives cashed in millions of rands in the financial year ended 31 December 2018.

According to the company's annual report published yesterday, MTN group CEO and president Rob Shuter raked in R42.9 million. In the previous financial year, the MTN boss was awarded R40.4 million.

The report shows Shuter got a salary of R15.2 million, post-employment benefits of R1.6 million, other benefits of R746 000 and bonuses of R25.2 million. In 2017, he was rewarded with a salary of R11.5 million, post-employment benefits (R1.2 million), other benefits (R10.5 million) and bonuses (R17.1 million).

The telco giant, earlier this month, announced a strong set of results, for the year ended 31 December 2018, with reported headline earnings per share growing by 85%.

MTN's annual report shows other top guns in the company were also handsomely rewarded. CFO Ralph Mupita, who started at MTN in April 2017, took home a total of R22.5 million, up from R17.6 million.

Mupita got a salary of R8.2 million, post-employment benefits (R955 000), other benefits (R559 000) and bonuses (R12.7 million).

In total, MTN, Africa's biggest mobile operator, paid Shutter and Mupita R65.4 million, up from R58.1 million in the previous year.

MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa took home at total of R23.4 million that included a salary of R6.8 million, post-employment benefits of R770 000, other benefits of R10.1 million and bonuses of R5.6 million. In 2017, Motsa earned R18.8 million.

Ebenezer Asante, MTN group vice-president of the expanded Southern and East Africa and Ghana, went home with R24 million, a jump from R4.6 million in 2017.

Other execs who were also handsomely rewarded are Ismail Jaroudi, MTN's group vice-president of Middle East and North Africa (R22.6 million); MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman (R21.2 million); and Michael Fleischer, MTN group chief legal counsel (R15.2 million).

Growth opportunities

Meanwhile, MTN yesterday also released its integrated and sustainability reports for the period ending 31 December 2018, setting out how the group creates value and highlighting the six distinct growth opportunities the company is pursuing across the voice, data, digital, fintech, enterprise and wholesale markets.

The integrated report is MTN's primary communication to stakeholders and aims to enable them to make an informed assessment of MTN's performance and prospects.

According to MTN, as part of efforts to enhance digital inclusion, in 2018, the company started executing its dual-data strategy aimed at enhancing digital inclusion.

Other key highlights include the expansion of active data users by 10 million to 79 million. The company highlights the growth in MTN Mobile Money users to 27 million, with services revenue of approximately R8 billion as part of its efforts to drive financial inclusion.

In 2019, the company says it will continue implementing its CHASE framework to accelerate Internet adoption by addressing issues related to quality coverage, handset availability, affordability, services and education to bring new opportunities to people previously excluded from the digital world.

MTN will extend initiatives to make smartphones more accessible and affordable, mainly through the launch of its low-cost 3G smart feature phone, priced at approximately $25. MTN also plans to launch Mobile Money in SA, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Sudan, and introduce an advanced instant messaging and communications platform, the operator says.

"As MTN, we are focused on solutions to enhance digital and financial inclusion and transform societies. We firmly believe technology and connectivity can provide transformative solutions to some of the world's complex challenges," says Shuter.

"In 2018, we unpacked what is really needed to connect people digitally and partnered with stakeholders who share our belief, that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life."

Tax contribution

The company also released its 2018 tax report, which it says shows MTN's contribution to tax revenues goes significantly beyond the corporate income taxes paid on its profits.

In 2018, MTN's total tax contribution was R24.1 billion, including but not limited to corporate taxes, indirect taxes, withholding taxes, payroll taxes, operating licence fees and other payments to government authorities.

Commenting on the tax report, Mupita says: "The 2018 tax report yet again illustrates the significant contribution the MTN Group makes to fiscal revenues in the various markets in which we operate, and call home.

"We have a low tax risk appetite across all our markets and look to ensure taxes due are paid. We further focus on ensuring the highest level possible for tax compliance is adhered to across all markets."

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