MTN sees 22% profit jump

Sales advanced 9.8% to R65.2-billion, MTN said in a statement today. Headline earnings per share, which exclude one-time items, were R6.54 for the six months through June, compared with R5.36 a year earlier, beating the R6.49 median profit estimate by four analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

"Although operating conditions in South Africa are expected to remain difficult, we will continue to focus on competitive, value-added propositions and on improving cost efficiencies," MTN said in the statement. "We expect the group to add a total of 21.1-million subscribers for the full 2013 year."


South African wireless companies are looking at other African markets as consumers increasingly use more profitable data-enabled smartphones and domestic voice service revenue declines.


MTN has expressed interest in expanding into Madagascar, according to people familiar with the matter.


Total subscriber numbers increased 6.5% to 201.5-million, and the company plans to pay a gross dividend of R3.70 a share.


MTN said on August 1 it made a currency gain of about R1-billion during the six-month period, compared with a R1.5-billion loss the previous year.


MTN said last month its chief financial pfficer Nazir Patel had resigned pending an internal investigation. Its shares have increased 10% this year, compared with a 1.3% decline at Vodacom Group.


The shares gained less than 1% to R196.51 at 9:34 am in Johannesburg on Wednesday. – Bloomberg

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