MTN has recorded its first yearly loss in 22 years. According to the financial statement released to shareholders yesterday, MTN said it realised a $200 million loss in 2016, which is the company’s first, after suffering a huge fine in Nigeria and currency challenges in key markets.
“MTN Group’s financial results for 2016 reflect the most challenging year in the company’s 22-year history,” MTN stated. The firm, which has over 240 million customers, controls about 40 per cent market share in Nigeria and services about 62 million subscribers. Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market.
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fined MTN in October 2015 for failing to disconnect unregistered mobile accounts in the country. Overall performance was hindered by lower than expected growth in both South Africa and Nigeria — as well as the depreciation of the rand against the dollar and the continued impact of a $1 billion (950 million euros) fine by Nigerian authorities.
MTN’s operations in South Africa were hit by technical issues and customer service problems during the year, which also hurt the bottom line, the company said. Johannesburg-based MTN reported profits of 20.2 billion rand ($1.6 billion) before tax for 2015.