The strong rand has taken its toll on MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator MTN. In the six months to 30 June, the group’s revenue has fallen 2,2% to R56bn.
However, revenue would have been 12%, or R8,2bn, higher than reported if the rand had not been as strong.
Despite the rand’s impact, the group has declared a maiden dividend of R1,51/share on the back of a strong improvement in cash flow.
“The average R/$ exchange rate strengthened from R9,06 in the first half of 2009 to R7,52 in the period under review,” it says. “This, together with the rand`s strength against the basket of currencies in which the group operates, has had a dampening effect on the rand reported results.”
The group says the rand also hurt its margins. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 0,5%, to 43,3%. Using constant currency reporting, MTN says Ebitda would have risen 16,3% over the comparative period.
Group subscribers rose 11,4% to 129,2m. It says increased investment in mobile data and aggressive 3G roll-out has helped it maintain and grow its subscriber base. Data revenues increased by 46% to R2,9bn. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
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