VENTURES AFRICA – MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile operator, reported on Wednesday, a 14 percent increase in first-half profit as a result of the company’s growth in the South African, Ghanaian and Iranian markets.
The increase in profits comes despite MTN’s business in Iran being hampered by international sanctions on the oil-rich Arab country and its controversial suit with Turkcell.
The South African-based multinational, which also has operations in the Middle East, said its first-half profit was 66.43 billion rand ($8 billion), compared with 56.5 billion rand ($6.9 billion) in the previous business year.
Its adjusted headline revenues per share amounted to 537.4 cents for the first-half year, compared with 470.1 cents the previous year.
MTN Group’s subscriber-base increased 7 percent to 176 million.
In Nigeria, MTN’s biggest market with a subscriber base of about 40 million, the telecommunications regulatory boday, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) imposed a $7.3 million fine on MTN and three other mobile operators for poor quality service.
According to a Reuters report, the teleco’s shares are up 7 percent this year, underperforming a 10 percent on the JSE Top-40 Index.