South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd., this morning announced a staggering 37% fall in profit for the year ended 31st December, 2015 compared to 2014 Financial Report. The telecom giant reported a 51.4% plunge ($1.3 billion) in headline earnings per share to 746c for the same time period. The tumble is largely attributed to the massive $3.9b fine by Nigerian regulators to the company’s Nigerian unit over an alleged breach of rules on SIM-card registration, hyperinflation in Syria, Sudan and Iran markets, and other stiff market conditions in their 22 countries of operation.

MTN Group also noted 4.1% to 232.5 million growth in their subscriber base across MTN’s 22 markets. In a statement, the company credited this growth to a major focus on customer experience, competitive offerings, aggressive network roll-out and employee engagement which resulted in a successful turnaround in the second half of the year.

“MTN Group’s 2015 financial results reflect the challenging operating environment the business experienced in the year,” the company said in a statement. “Weak macroeconomic conditions, increased market competition, heightened regulatory pressures, notably in Nigeria, and operational challenges in some of our markets resulted in a lower-than-expected performance.”

“While the group operates across 22 countries, the earnings remain highly concentrated in a few markets, with the associated volatility and risks as evident over the past few years. To this end, management will continue to explore opportunities to address this over the medium term,” it said.

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“While these investments are a short-term drag on reported earnings, they remain key elements in the long-term strategy of the group,” MTN said.

MTN Mobile Money uptake continue to grow in Uganda

The 2015 financial results indicate a 55.8% revenue increase for MTN Uganda from MTN Mobile Money product. The report also notes a 56,3% MTN Mobile Money customers growth to 34,7 million across 15 countries. Ugandan Subscribers using MTN Mobile Money  rose to 9.5m comprising 27.3% of MTN Group’s Mobile Money subscribers. So while the general profit margin for the group was dented, MTN Mobile Money is only seen to grow tremendously.

MTN Uganda registered a 2.8% revenue growth of Shs1.3 trillion in 2015, up from Shs1.267 trillion in 2014. Revenue from voice calls was seen to drop resulting from various factors like the implementation of the One Network Area among other factors. MTN Uganda’s data revenue rose by 17.4% to Shs365b, comprising 28.3% of total revenues.

The full annual financial report can be accessed HERE.