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Breaking: MTN Nigeria loses N740 billion in foreign exchange, wiping out shareholder funds



Breaking: MTN Nigeria loses N740 billion in foreign exchange, wiping out shareholder funds

Breaking: MTN Nigeria loses N740 billion in foreign exchange, wiping out shareholder funds

MTN Nigeria Plc has reported a loss before tax of N177.8 billion compared to a pre-tax profit of N518.8 billion a year earlier. The losses resulted in a wipe-out of shareholders’ funds.

The company attributed the losses to a massive foreign currency loss of N740 billion up from N81 billion reported in 2022.

This is the company’s first-ever loss since it became a quoted company in Nigeria.

Key Highlights

Total subscribers increased by 5.3% to 79.7 million
Active data users increased by 12.7% to 44.6 million
Active mobile money (MoMo PSB) wallets increased by 163.2% to 5.3 million
Service revenue increased by 22.4% to N2.5 trillion
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 12.3% to N1.2 trillion
EBITDA margin decreased by 4.5 percentage points (pp) to 48.7%
Loss after tax was N137.0 billion due to net forex loss
Profit after tax (PAT) adjusted for the net forex loss decreased by 14.3% to N344.5 billion
Earnings per share (EPS) declined to negative N6.38 kobo (N16.56 kobo adjusted for the net forex loss, down 14.1%)
Net loss for the year has resulted in a depletion of our retained earnings and shareholders’ fund to negative N208.0 billion and N40.8 billion, respectively
Company Commentary: “2023 witnessed a very challenging operating environment characterised by rising inflation, currency devaluation and foreign exchange shortages, complicated by geopolitical disruptions and cash shortages in Q1 arising from a redesign of the naira.

These factors created severe MTN Nigeria Communications Plc Audited results for the year ended 31 December 2023 2 | Page headwinds for our customers and our business during the year. The inflation rate increased throughout the year, reaching 28.9% in December 2023 – the highest reading in 18 years – with an average rate of 24.5%.

This was further exacerbated by higher fuel prices, arising from the removal of the fuel subsidy in May 2023, with the average prices of diesel and petrol up by 66.4% and 257.1% in 2023 to N1,416.8/litre and N600/litre, respectively. In June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adopted a more liberal foreign exchange management system and reintroduced the ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ model.

This has resulted in a 96.7% unfavourable movement in the exchange rate against the US dollar from N461.1/US$ in December 2022 to N907.1/US$ (Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) rate) in December 2023. This development contributed meaningfully to the upward pressure on the cost of doing business in Nigeria, and for MTN Nigeria in particular, significantly increased the costs in relation to our tower leases.”

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