MTN Group Ltd. plans to reduce its foreign-exchange spending in Nigeria, its biggest market, and pay more of its costs in the local currency to reduce its exposure to exchange-rate volatility.
A recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria to devalue the naira by 7.6% against the dollar to 410.7 has had a major impact on the business, Africa’s biggest wireless carrier said in a statement on Friday, without providing more details.
The company seeks to mitigate that impact even though “there are no substantial operating losses or significant deterioration in the value of assets used to generate cash flows,” according to the statement.
For the six months through June, MTN’s Nigerian unit reported profit of 141.8 billion naira ($345 million), 49% more than the same period of 2020. Revenue was 791.3 billion naira in the first half of this year, up 24% year-on-year. MTN has no plans to restructure or sell its Nigerian business, it said in the statement.
The mobile carrier plans to expand its network coverage to at least 1,000 rural communities this year and to 2,000 more in 2022.
“In the next three years, we will invest over 600 billion naira to expand broadband access across the country in support of government’s broadband plan,” MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer Karl Toriola said.
The telecoms leader said it expects growth in mobile subscribers to normalize in the short term after a decline in the first half. It had 68.9 million subscribers at the end of June, down 9.9% from 76.5 million at the end of last year due to regulatory restrictions on new registrations.