MTN Returns to Profit as it overcomes $1billion Nigeria Fine


Africa’s biggest mobile-network operator by sales said it returned to profit in 2017, recovering from a $1bn fine it paid for its Nigerian business in the prior period.

It expects to report a profit for the 12 months ended December 31, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Monday. That compares with a headline loss of 77 cents a share and an attributable loss of 144c a share a year earlier, it said.

The company will give more information once it obtains more certainty on the profit range, it said.

MTN is working its way through a tumultuous period triggered by the Nigerian penalty in October 2015. Originally set at $5.2bn, the penalty led to the resignation of the CEO and months of negotiations before it was eventually settled.

As of March 2017, the company had already paid a total of N110bn of the N330bn fine.

The remaining payments to be made in tranches are N55bn by March 31, 2018; N55bn by December 31, 2018; another N55bn by March 31, 2019, and a balance of N55bn latest May 31, 2019.