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[MTN]–Africa’s largest Telecommunications firm, MTN, has recorded its first yearly loss in 20 years.
According to the financial statement released to shareholders in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday, MTN said it made 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.
The firm, which has Nigeria as its biggest market, has over 240 million customers, controls about 40 per cent market share in in the country and services about 60 million subscribers. Johannesburg-based MTN reported profits of 20.2 billion rand ($1.6 billion) before tax for 2015.
The woes of the telecommunication in Nigeria, however, started in October, 2015, when the Nigerian authority fined the telecommunications for contravening regulatory order on registration of SIM cards. MTN agreed to pay a fine of N330 billion ($1.1 billion), reduced from $5.2 billion, in June last year after a prolonged legal battle to end a dispute in Nigeria over missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM cards.
The plight of MTN still continues, as the company is currently being investigated by Nigerian lawmakers for allegedly illegally repatriating $14 billion between 2006 and 2016.
The firm, which denied any wrong doing, revealed that its total subscribers increased by 3.3 per cent or 7.7 million to 240 million in the year to end-December.
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