VENTURES AFRICA – Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN Group, has stated that full-year earnings per share gained up to 25 percent after the sale of its Nigerian towers business to London-based African tower manager, IHS.
According to a report by Business analysis website Nairametrics, Headline earnings per share, saw an increase of 15 percent to 16.23 rand ($1.23) in 2014. The JSE-listed mobile phone operator said in a statement on Thursday. Attributable earnings per share were between 15 percent and 25 percent higher, or 16.79 rand to 18.25 rand.
In September 2014, South African based MTN agreed to sell 9,151 mobile towers valued at about $2 billion to IHS in a joint venture deal. At the time, MTN said the deal will help drive its costs trimming plan and boost call and data capacity in Africa’s most populous country.
This development confirms that the company’s increase on earnings can be attributed to the acquisition of its mobile towers by Africa’s largest independent phone tower company. With the recent challenges in Nigeria such as insurgencies, falling oil prices, and the devaluation of the Naira, mobile operators have been forced to rethink the strategy of holding onto tower assets.
MTN has a customer base of about 219 million in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East.