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MTN Group On Cloud9 As Its Annual Earnings Double On Uganda Tower Sales

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By Our Reporter

MTN Group, South Africa’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, said on Friday that it expected 2020 earnings to nearly double, mainly on gains from the sale of Uganda and Ghana tower joint ventures.

MTN is in the middle of a R25 billion divestment plan aimed at simplifying its portfolio over the next three to five years.

Part of this entailed selling its 49 percent holdings in Ghana Tower Interco and Uganda Tower Interco to AT Sher Netherlands Coöperatief for $523 million (R7.76 billion) last year.

Its earnings per share (EPS) may have increased by as much as 95 percent to 987 cents in the year ended December 31 from 506 cents a year ago, the company said in a statement ahead of the release of its annual results on March 10.

At 4.06pm shares in MTN were 6.68 percent firmer at R70.57, a level last hit on December 10.

Headline earnings per share (Heps), the main profit gauge for South African firms, is seen rising as much as 70 percent to 796 cents from 468 cents in Dec 2019. It excludes certain one-off items.

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