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MTN earnings miss estimates on network spend, currency loss

By The Rainbow
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MTN Group Ltd. (MTN), Africa's largest mobile-phone operator, reported full-year earnings that missed analysts' estimates, weighed down by foreign-exchange losses and increased spending on networks.

Adjusted earnings per share climbed to 10.89 rand ($1.21) from 10.69 rand a year earlier, Johannesburg-based MTN said in a statement. That missed the 11.67 rand median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Exchange-rate moves, including the decline of the Syrian pound, Iranian rial and Sudanese pound, against the rand, curbed adjusted earnings per share of 1.79 rand, according to MTN, which operates in 22 African and Middle Eastern markets.

Capital spending rose 70 percent to 30.1 billion rand as MTN upgraded networks to handle more data traffic as consumers seek Internet connections on their mobile devices.