MTN Set Aside $600m For Nigerian Fine

South Africa’s telecom giant, MTN, has set aside around $600 million to cover the potential settlement of a fine in Nigeria, it said today, Thursday, as it posted a more than 50 percent drop in annual profit.

Africa’s biggest wireless phone company is in talks with Nigerian authorities to reduce a $3.9 billion fine imposed last year for failing to cut off unregistered SIM card users.

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.

Meanwhile, MTN Group may list its Nigerian unit on the stock exchange in Lagos once it has resolved a disputed $3.9 billion fine with authorities in the Western African nation, its executive chairman said on Thursday.

MTN also said it has set aside 9.3 billion rand ($600 million) to cover a potential settlement of a fine imposed by Nigerian authorities last year for failing to cut of unregistered SIM card users.