R1.4 billion headline loss for MTN

MTN Group, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, has announced a R1.4 billion ($108 million) annual loss, the first for the company in 20 years. MTN said its headline loss came in at 77 cents per share, in the year to end December, compared with headline earnings of R13.6 billion (746 cents per share) the previous year.

Pictured: Ralph Mapita, MTN CFO

According to the company, the $1.1 billion regulatory fine it faced in Nigeria last year, coupled with unfavourable currency moves, contributed to these results. MTN said the fine wiped some R10.5 billion ($768 million) or 500 cents per share from headline earnings.

The company said in a statement:

"MTN Group's financial results for 2016 reflect the most challenging year in the company's 22-year history, precipitated by a number of material regulatory, macro-economic and political challenges experienced across our regions. However, despite these difficulties, the business began to show encouraging first signs of a turnaround."