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MTN Uganda first-half pretax profit up 32%

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA, Aug 4 (Reuters) – MTN Uganda said on Thursday its first-half pretax profit jumped 32.4% from the same period last year, lifted by strong data and financial technology services sales.

The firm, a unit of South African telecoms giant MTN Group, is Uganda’s largest telecommunications firm by subscribers.

In the six months to June 30, the company said its pretax profit rose to 275.6 billion shillings ($71.1 million) from 208.1 billion in a similar period last year.

During the period there was “strong performance in our data and fintech (mobile money) revenue segments,” Chief Executive Wim Vanhelleputte said in commentary accompanying the results.

Mobile money, a service that allows payments and transfers between mobile phone users, grew 20.5%, while data sales expanded by more than a third.

MTN Uganda listed its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) in December after a deeply undersubscribed initial public offering.

Vanhelleputte said MTN Uganda’s performance in the period was constrained by several economic challenges including surging food and fuel prices, a harsh drought across large parts of the country and global supply chain snags.

“The combination of these factors has had a significant impact on the spending power of our customers,” he said.

($1 = 3,875.0000 Ugandan shillings) (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema Editing by Hereward Holland and Mark Potter)

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