Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK
Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

Shares in MTN jumped as much as 10% on Friday, as the telecoms group said it expected a rise in earnings for the full year to December 2020, owing in part to profits made from selling some of its network towers.

In a note to shareholders on Friday, Africa’s largest mobile network operator said it would report an increase in earnings per share (EPS) of between 75% and 95%, up to 481c higher than the previous comparable period's 506c.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) is expected to rise by up to 70%, higher than the 468c seen previously, which translates to a range of 702c to 796c for the reporting period.

MTN, valued at R133bn, said EPS includes impairment losses totalling about 155c related mainly to its businesses in Syria, Yemen, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and BICS.

EPS also includes the benefit from gains amounting to about 341c on the disposal of the American Tower Company (ATC) Uganda and Ghana tower joint ventures as announced in March 2020.

The group had received R8.9bn from the sale of its stakes in ATC Uganda and ATC Ghana.

MTN said HEPS were negatively affected by nonoperational items during the financial year totalling about 118c per share up from 111c in the previous year. Most of this is related to foreign exchange losses.

By the JSE’s close, MTN had pared gains, with its shares up 5.64% at R69.88. This was their biggest one-day closing gain since mid-December 2020.

gavazam@businesslive.co.za

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