MTN Nigeria Loses Customers

by on October 22, 2015

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless operator, cut its full-year subscriber forecast after it had customers disconnected in Nigeria by regulators and as the number of clients using contracts in South Africa fell.

The company will add 14.8 million net subscribers this year, compared with a previous forecast of 16.75 million, Johannesburg-based MTN said in a statement Thursday. The carrier’s customer base grew 0.9 percent to 233 million in the three months ended September compared with the previous quarter.

MTN, which operates in more than 20 countries across the Middle East and Africa including Iran and Syria, has dropped 18 percent this year, compared with a 7.1 percent gain on the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index. The stock was little changed at 182.11 rand as of 10:50 a.m. in Johannesburg.

In Nigeria, the decline in customers was mainly a result of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers at the end of August in line with “industry-wide regulatory requirements,” the company said in the statement. “While management continues to engage with the regulator, performance continues to be impacted by ongoing regulatory restrictions.” The company said it has reconnected 3.4 million of the subscribers.

Customer using contracts in South Africa fell 2.6 percent to 5.2 million, due in part to “low availability of handsets,” MTN said.

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Source: Bloomberg

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