MTN’s reduced dividend policy translated into a 30% cut in the payout shareholders will receive for the first half of its financial year. MTN declared a R1.75 interim dividend on Wednesday morning, down from R2.50 for the first half of its 2017 financial year. The statement indicated the final dividend will similarly be cut by 28% to R3.25 from R4.50. "Despite continued challenges in repatriating funds from MTN Irancell, the board remains committed to plans to declare a total dividend of R5 per share for 2018 and is targeting growth of 10%-20% over the medium term," MTN group president and CEO Rob Shuter said in the interim results statement. The cellphone network previously warned it intended reducing its dividend to whittle down its debt. MTN’s debt increased to R70bn at the end of June from R57bn at the end of December. The results statement blamed this on "the payment of the final dividend under the previous dividend policy". The group’s interim revenue declined by 3% to R63bn a...

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