By Adria Calatayud
MTN Group Ltd. said Friday that earnings per share for the first half of 2020 are expected to be higher than previously indicated, but that it won't declare an interim dividend in light of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
The South Africa-based telecommunications group also said its chief executive succession process is on track and that it expects to make an announcement in the next four to eight weeks. MTN in March said President and CEO Rob Shuter would step down at the end of his four-year contract in March 2021.
The company said it expects to report EPS of between 6.60 and 6.86 South African rand (39 and 41 cents) for the first six months of the year. This is between ZAR4.06 and ZAR4.32 higher than the restated EPS of ZAR2.45 for the year-earlier period.
MTN's new guidance reflects gains on the disposal of the ATC Uganda and ATC Ghana tower joint ventures and a restatement of the year-earlier figures, the company said.
Last week, MTN said it expected to report first-half EPS of at least ZAR5.92.
Should conditions warrant a final dividend, this would be no more than ZAR3.90 a share to maintain a healthy liquidity position, MTN said.
Write to Adria Calatayud at email@example.com