Africa’s telecommunications giant, MTN Group, has informed its shareholders to expect between 0 percent and 10 percent increase in the earnings per share (EPS) in the 2019 financial year.
MTN, in a trading statement released on its website, stated that this anticipated rise in EPS should yield between 485 cents and 534 cents in figure compared with EPS of 485 cents for the prior fiscal year.
It stated that the headline earnings per share (HEPS), on an IFRS reported basis (2018 on IAS 17 and 2019 on IFRS 16), should post a growth of between 30 percent and 50 percent.
This should be between 438 cents and 506 cents in the figure for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared with HEPS of 337 cents for the prior fiscal year.
“HEPS were negatively impacted by non-operational items in the financial year ended December 31, 2019, totaling approximately 128 cents per share, on a reported IFRS 16 basis (2018: 215 cents per share, on an IAS 17 basis),” MTN stated.
According to the group, which has its Nigerian unit, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, listed on the local stock exchange, it is “currently in the process of finalizing its results for the year ended December 31, 2019, which will be announced on the Stock Exchange News Service of the JSE Ltd. (SENS) on or about Wednesday, March 11, 2020.”
The telco said it adopted a new accounting standard on leases, IFRS 16, which took effect on January 1, 2019, and, as permitted by the standard, comparative numbers have not been restated and remain on the previous accounting treatment of operating leases in accordance with IAS 17.
“The adoption of IFRS 16 has resulted in an approximately 13 percent reduction in the reported earnings numbers, arising primarily from the net effects of (a) lower operating lease costs, (b) higher finance costs, and (c) higher depreciation charges,” the statement explained.
The share price of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been on a roller coaster since it joined the bourse in May 2019.
The company’s stocks recorded huge growths when in January it was announced that the nation’s Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had dropped the $2 billion tax demand case against it.
After the case was dropped, executives of MTN visited President Muhammadu Buhari and the company promised to invest about $1.6 billion in the country to boost its Nigerian operations.