MTN Group South Africa has tagged 2016 as its most challenging financial year due to macro-economic, political, and material regulatory challenges the company faced in their biggest markets across Africa.
MTN Nigeria which is one of such markets suffered a huge hit when the company was in October 2015 fined by the government to the tune of NGN330 billion (USD1.0 billion) for missing a deadline to disconnect around 5.1 million incompletely registered subscribers.
According to the group the fine contributed in part to the sharp decline from ZAR36.583 billion in the year-earlier period to a pre-tax profit of ZAR18.208 billion in FY 2016 reporting a basic headline loss per share of ZAR0.77.
Also the depreciation of local currencies in South Africa and Nigeria – particularly in the last quarter of the year largely affected the growth of the company contributing to the losses encountered in 2016.
With all the challenges faced by the company, the group optimistically reported a net increase of 3.3% in group subscribers to 240.3 million at 31 December 2016.
“MTN Group continues to work towards achieving our vision of “leading the delivery of a bold, new Digital World to our customers”. Despite the recent disruptions in the markets in which we operate, Africa is still expected to be a key growth region over the medium to long term. MTN’s unique position in Africa and the changes made in 2016 provide a solid platform for the Group to realise its vision’, the group said.