JOHANNESBURG – MTN South Africa said the company’s financial troubles in Nigeria have had a major impact on its brand and it’s now doubled its efforts to regain the trust of its customers.
MNT’s annual report has revealed the company has had to set aside almost R10 billion for a fine it has being forced to pay Nigerian authorities.
The firm has seen its profits fall by over 50 percent due to tough competition, and regulatory pressures in Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer Mteto Nyathi, said the company is currently in a transitional period.
“What has happened in Nigeria and elsewhere, any negative things like what happened here in South Africa when we had a strike, has affected our brand in a negative way. So what it requires from all of us within MTN is to work twice as hard.”
MTN has been in and out of court in a bid to resolve the issue and has since paid $250 million towards the $3,9 billion fine.
Talks between Nigeria’s government and MTN are ongoing with reports suggesting that the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari will have the final say.
Meanwhile, MTN SA may list its Nigerian unit on the stock exchange in Lagos once it has resolved the disputed fine with authorities in the Western African nation, its executive chairman said on Thursday.
MTN said headline earnings per share (EPS) came in at 746 cents in the year to end-December compared with 1,536 cents a year earlier.
Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.
The company raised its annual dividend by 5.2 percent to 1,310 cents per share.