By Prince Osuagwu
South African telecom operator, MTN Group, yesterday, reported a 54.4 percent drop in annual profit for the year ending 31 December 2015. The loss, according to the company, followed the setting aside of nearly 10 billion rand, approximately $643 million, to cover settlement of the N1.04 trillion fine its Nigerian operation incurred for allegedly refusing to deactivate over five million improperly registered subscribers on its network.
The company’s Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, said the provision was made on the advice of its auditors, in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS.
The telecom company said its headline earnings per share came in at 746 cents in the year to end, compared with 1,536 cents a year earlier.
It alleged that the result was a reflection of the difficult operating environment of the business, particularly in Nigeria, experienced during the period under review.