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MTN to name new CEO in June

MTN Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko is expected to step down as acting CEO by the end of June 2016 “at the latest”, the group said on Wednesday (25 May).

According to a statement put out by the group ahead of its AGM, the search for a new MTN Group CEO is well underway, and it will make an announcement in the coming month.

The statement also dealt with the group’s overall fears for key markets in the year ahead.

MTN said it expects its overall performance to be impacted by the weak macro environment in key markets as well as by tougher competition – most notably in South Africa and Nigeria.

The company is still faced with a $3.9 billion fine in Nigeria, which it says it is actively engaging with Nigerian authorities over.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that talks with MTN over the fine were suspended by the Nigerian government, as it sought to further investigate the matter.

The talks are reportedly suspended indefinitely while the country’s House of Representatives finishes an investigation into the size of the penalty, and how it was delivered.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, a crushing economic climate, along with the company troubles, have given way for the company’s biggest local competitor, Vodacom, to overtake it as the country’s – and the continent’s – highest-valued mobile operator.

Despite its short- to medium-term worries, MTN said that it remained confident about the longer term.

“While not without challenges we expect MTN Nigeria’s performance to improve given the focus on reconnecting subscribers and the re-instatement of regulatory services enabling the operation to provide more competitive tariffs and promotions,” it said.

“We expect the South African operation to report improved revenue growth through the rest of the year supported by 3G and LTE network roll out, improvements in network quality and competitive offerings.”

As at 30 April 2016, the Group increased its subscriber base by approximately 1% to 230.3 million, year-on-year.

Reported Group revenue increased by 15% YoY, supported by a 21% decline in the average rand exchange rate against the naira together with a 23% decline in the average rand exchange rate against the US dollar compared with the previous period.