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MTN to join Dangote Cement, Zenith, FBN Holdings on NSE Premium Board

by IHEANYI NWACHUKWU

March 9, 2018 | 12:45 am
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MTN Nigeria continues to make good progress with preparations for its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The Group plans to list its Nigerian unit on the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) which has the likes of Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc, BusinessDay can disclose.
Extensive local marketing to target Nigerian investors is planned as part of a retail offer and institutional book-build, which may also involve selected international institutions, MTN Group said in a note preceding its financials for the year ended December 31, 2017 released yesterday.
The premium board tracks companies in terms of market capitalisation and liquidity. On the Premium Board Dangote Cement Plc is currently the highest valued at N4.464trillion at N262 per share. Zenith Bank Plc at N31 per share is valued on Premium Board at N 973.291billion; while FBH Holdings Plc at N11.85per share is valued at N425.359billion.
MTN Group which is still sticking to June 2018 for listing of its Nigerian unit said any reduction in its ownership in MTN Nigeria is expected to be limited. The listing of MTN Nigeria is expected to take place as planned subject to appropriate market conditions and requisite regulatory approval.
MTN Nigeria has engaged with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) extensively on the structure and parameters of the listing.
The Group has also obtained its shareholders’ ‘approval in principle’ to prepare for the listing, including amendments to its corporate structure.
“It is expected that the application to the NSE will commence in due course and management has already initiated its Corporate Governance Rating Scoring with the NSE with a view to listing on the NSE’s Premium Board”, according to MTN Group.
On constant currency information, the Group total revenue increased by 6.8percent in the financial year ended December 31, 2017, but on reported basis, it decreased by 10.2 percent to R132.815 billion against R147.920billion in 2016.
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) before Nigeria regulatory fine fell to R46.955billion from R51.250billion in 2016. Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to R9.555billion from R 5.243billion in 2016.
The Group total revenue growth of 6.8 percent on constant currency information was supported by encouraging revenue growth in MTN Nigeria (up 11.4percent); while MTN Uganda recorded 10percent revenue growth; MTN Ghana revenue (up 23.3percent) and MTN Ivory Coast revenue (up 11percent), according to the Group’s result released Thursday.
The Nigerian operations had revenues of R36 billion ($3bn or N1.080 trillion), while EBITDA margin (excluding the impact of the regulatory fine) declined to 38.9%.
This was largely a result of higher foreign-currency-denominated expenses in Nigeria because of the depreciation of the naira against the US dollar. The EBITDA margin in South Africa improved to 34.6 percent.
MTN South Africa grew total revenue by 3percent while MTN Cameroon reported a 6.6percent decline in revenue.
The group declared final dividend of 450 cents per share. This is in line with the 2017 guidance of a total dividend of 700 cents per share communicated in March 2017.
“MTN delivered a solid overall performance for the year, with progress on many fronts, despite difficult economic conditions as well as operational and regulatory challenges in certain markets. MTN Nigeria showed strong constant currency revenue growth and MTN South Africa’s post-paid business displayed encouraging improvements,” said Rob Shuter, group president and CEO of MTN.
“The group’s top‐line growth was driven by robust growth in data revenue (on a constant currency basis), supported by the combination of improving customer service and more stable and competitive networks. MTN Mobile Money and rich‐media services supported growth in digital revenue, however, this slowed in the second half as we optimised our value‐added services (VAS) subscription business. Encouragingly, on a constant currency basis, outgoing voice revenue was flat relative to the prior year. Over the year, we further strengthened our management structures and specialist skill capabilities to drive operational execution and to support our risk management processes,” he said.
The Group’s outgoing voice revenue remained largely flat.
“This is a positive re‐enforcement of MTN work to stem the decline in the contribution of voice to the business, particularly in Nigeria where outgoing voice revenue increased by 7.5percent,” MTN said.
Data revenue increased by 34.2percent, benefiting from significantly improved data network quality and capacity across MTN Group key markets and a continued increase in active data users to 69.1 million.
Data revenue increased in South Africa (up 25.8percent); Nigeria (up 86.6percent); Uganda (up 41.4percent); Ghana (up 50.6percent); Cameroon (up 21.1percent) and Ivory Coast (up 87.5percent).
Digital revenue increased by 14.2percent. Total costs increased by 9.5percent, negatively impacted by foreign‐denominated expenses in Nigeria and costs associated with the rollout of network sites in the year. In South Africa, lower handset cost subsidies and volumes, as well as a strong rand, led to a lower total cost of handsets.
MTN Nigeria maintained positive momentum during the year, with the overall macro‐economic environment stabilising and the increased oil price and production offering some relief. During the year in review the operation focused on operational performance, network quality, customer experience and churn management. The subscriber base at year end was 52.3 million, following both the definition review as well as lower gross connections as a result of new regulations that require all subscriber connections to take place in permanent structures.

 

IHEANYI NWACHUKWU

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by IHEANYI NWACHUKWU

March 9, 2018 | 12:45 am
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