Mobile operator MTN said in a trading statement on Friday (5 February), that it anticipates strong earnings for the year ended December 2020.
The group advised shareholders that headline earnings per share (HEPS) growth is expected to be between 50% and 70% (or 234 cents to 328 cents).
Considering the HEPS of 468 cents for the corresponding financial year ended December 2019, this translates into a range of 702 cents to 796 cents for the financial year ended December 2020, MTN said.
"HEPS were negatively impacted by non-operational items for the year ended 31 December 2020 totalling approximately 118 cents per share (2019: 111 cents), most of which related to foreign exchange losses."
It said it expects earnings per share (EPS) of between 75% and 95% (or 380 cents to 481 cents).
Considering the EPS of 506 cents for the corresponding financial year ended December 2019, this translates into a range of 886 cents to 987 cents for the financial year ended December 2020, the operator said.
EPS includes impairment losses totalling approximately 155 cents that relate mainly to MTN Syria, MTN Yemen, MTN Guinea Bissau, MTN Liberia and BICS.
EPS also includes the benefit from gains amounting to approximately 341 cents on the disposal of the ATC Uganda and ATC Ghana tower joint ventures as announced in March 2020.
Shares in the group climbed 10% in mid afternoon trade on Friday.