By Ian Walker
MTN Group Ltd. (MTN.JO) on Thursday reported a swing to net profit for 2017 due mainly to a Nigerian regulatory fine that it paid last year, and said it expects improved top-line and Ebitda growth over the medium term.
The South Africa-based mobile telecommunications multinational made a net profit of 4.41 billion South African rand ($371.93 billion) for the year, compared with a loss of ZAR2.61 billion when it booked a ZAR10.5 billion Nigerian regulatory fine.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to ZAR46.96 billion, compared with ZAR40.75 billion, while revenue slipped to ZAR132.82 billion from ZAR147.92 billion.
The board has declared a final dividend of 450 South African cents a share and said it expects to pay 500 cents for 2018.
In October 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission fined MTN's Nigerian unit $5.2 billion, alleging that MTN missed a deadline to deactivate more than 5 million unregistered SIM cards under regulations meant to combat terrorism.
Write to Ian Walker at email@example.com; @IanWalk40289749