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Some of the salient features of the results release are as follows:
- Group Revenue +9.7%
- Service Revenue +10.2%
- Data Revenue +26.7%
- Basic Headline Earnings per share 215c (231c in comparative period of last financial year)
The drop in headline earnings per share have been attributed to interest relating to the Nigerian regulatory fine, hyperinflation and the impact of foreign exchange losses.
While EBITDA margins were realized ahead of consensus estimates, markets are perhaps disappointed with the company’s interim dividend offering which has been reduced to 175c per share from 250c in the prior year’s comparative six month period.
The group has now guided that it will look to list MTN Nigeria before the end of 2018, where previous guidance had suggested the listing by the end of July 2018. Expectations for the Nigerian listing are for a market cap valuation in the region of $5bn.
The recent announcement from MTN that it had signed an agreement to sell Cyprus telecoms to Monaco Telecoms, should be realised in the next financial quarter. The net sale amount is set at EUR260m and is to be paid in cash up front. The deal is part of MTN’s decision to focus exclusively on its operations in Africa and the Middle East. Monaco Telecom (the purchaser) will be allowed to use the MTN brand for another 3 years for a commercial fee.