MTN Group said on Friday it expects 2020 earnings to nearly double, mainly on gains from the sale of Uganda and Ghana tower joint ventures.

MTN is in the middle of a R25-billion divestment plan aimed at simplifying its portfolio over the next three to five years.

Part of this entailed selling its 49% holdings in Ghana Tower Interco and Uganda Tower Interco to AT Sher Netherlands for US$523-million last year.

Its earnings per share may have increased by as much as 95% to R9.87 in the year ended 31 December from R5.06 a year ago, the company said in a statement ahead of the release of its annual results on 10 March.

Headline earnings per share is seen rising as much as 70% to R7.96 from R4.68 in December 2019. It excludes certain one-off items.

At 2.06pm, shares in MTN were 6.68% firmer at R70.57, a level last hit on 10 December.  — Reported by Nqobile Dludla and Aby Jose Koilparambil, (c) 2021 Reuters