Nigeria’s biggest company by market value MTN Nigeria saw its bottom line for the first half of 2022 take a bashing from a recent weakening of the local currency by as much as 40 per cent last month.
The development left the company’s net profit 29.1 per cent weaker than the level it was a year ago.
That was despite reporting its biggest revenue on record, due to a boom in income from data. Revenue accelerated to N1.2 trillion during the period from N950.1 billion.
Costs, without accounting for taxation and finance expenses, galloped by nearly one quarter to N737.2 billion, fuelled by Nigeria’s intractable inflation, which is leading businesses to pass costs to clients.
Finance costs jumped 161.8 per cent to N237.6 billion on the back of a dramatic spike in net foreign exchange loss, which ballooned by more than nine times the figure for the same period of last year.
“CBN collapsed all FX windows into investors & exporters (I&E) window on 14 June 2023 to allow for a free float of the national currency against the dollar and other global currencies,” the corporation said in its unaudited financials issued on Friday.
“MTN Nigeria finance charge was impacted by the devaluation of the Naira from N461.10/$1 in December 2022 to N756.08/$1 in June 2023 which followed the policy change,” it added.
Its rival telecom powerhouse Airtel Africa disclosed through its earnings report on Thursday plunged into a $170 million net loss for the quarter to June after derivative and foreign-exchange losses of $471 million in its largest market Nigeria devoured revenue.
MTN Group, the parent company headquartered in Johannesburg, also country Nigeria as its biggest market.
MTN Nigeria’s payments unit MoMo PSB launched operations last May with deposits held for customers standing at N1.3 billion for last year alone, according to the financial statement.
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