MTN Group Limited says it is anticipating a profit in its 2017 financial statement, adding that it has recovered from a $1 billion fine it paid for its Nigerian unit.

In a statement, the company which is Nigeria’s largest telecommunications network, said the financial statement would cover 12 months for the period ended December 31, 2017.

The company announced that it lost $200m in 2016 – the first full-year loss of the company in its 22 years of existence.

It blamed the loss on the fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

In 2016, NCC imposed a fine on the telecommunication giant over its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards.

The fine was reduced to N780bn in December 2015 and was further reduced in June 2016 to N330bn, with payment spread over three years.

As of March 2017, the company had already paid a total of N110bn of the N330bn fine.

The remaining payments to be made in tranches are N55bn by March 31, 2018; N55bn by December 31, 2018; another N55bn by March 31, 2019 and a balance of N55bn latest May 31, 2019.

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