MTN Says Reported $955 Million Nigeria Profit Within Estimates

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest phone company, said a 2015 profit of 190 billion naira ($955 million) for its Nigerian unit reported by a newspaper is within the company’s current estimates.

MTN, which is facing a $3.9 billion fine from regulators in the West African country, is still completing its audit and has yet to finalize the financial results for the period ended Dec. 31, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. The after-tax profit was reported on Monday by the Lagos-based ThisDay newspaper, which cited documents obtained from an unidentified person at the Nigerian Communications Commission.

MTN is challenging the fine in Nigeria, its biggest market, which was imposed by the Nigerian telecommunications regulator for failing to meet a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered subscribers. The company had about 62.5 million subscribers in Nigeria at the end of September, almost a quarter of its 233 million customers.

MTN rose 1.1 percent to 121.87 rand a share at 12:24 p.m. in Johannesburg. The stock has dropped 40 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 2.9 percent decline in the FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index.

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