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Eurobites: MTN Earnings Hit by Nigerian Fine

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Bouygues' family affair; new CEO for HERE; Liberty Global taps Devicescape WiFi; gratuitous pizza picture.

  • South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. saw headline earnings per share decline by 51.4% year-on-year in its full-year results, largely as a result of the provision it made to deal with the US$5.2 billion fine (later reduced to $3.9 billion) imposed on it by the Nigerian government for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards. Group revenue remained flat at 146.35 billion South African Rand ($9.33 billion), though its subscriber base grew by 4.1% to 232.5 million, despite the belated disconnection of 10.4 million subscribers to ensure compliance with subscriber registration requirements in Nigeria and Uganda. Last week MTN dropped its lawsuit against Nigeria over the fine, and paid $250 million as part of what it hopes will be a negotiated settlement. (See MTN to Challenge $3.9B Fine in Nigerian Court and Eurobites: MTN Shares Suspended After $5.2B Fine.)

  • Bouygues, the French conglomerate that includes a telecom operator upon which Orange (NYSE: FTE) currently has designs, is planning to appoint two younger family members to the board next month, according to a Financial Times report (subscription required). The Bouygues family holds a 20.4% stake in the company and 27.9% of the voting rights. (See Orange CEO Sees 50:50 Chance of Bouygues Deal.)

  • HERE, the former Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) mapping unit that was bought by a consortium of German car makers, has appointed Edzard Overbeek as its new CEO. Overbeek is currently a strategic advisor at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), his company berth since 2000. (See Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale.)

  • Cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) is to deploy Devicescape Software Inc. 's public WiFi offering across its European mobile footprint, improving its indoor coverage. Devicescape, based in San Francisco, has already had its WiFi adopted by Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), which Liberty Global now owns.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) have joined forces to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers to schoolgirls in the UK. So far, 20 pupils have been chosen and matched with a mentor from each of the businesses involved, and they will receive one session a month with their mentor until October, and a full week of work experience at the particular company in July. Light Reading's sister site, Women in Comms, has been majoring on mentoring -- check out the site for some insights on the subject. (See Are You My Mentor?)

  • Now here at Eurobites Towers we love a pizza, and our outlet of choice is Pizza Express, its thin-crust Fiorentina the one we insist on by name. We do, however, reluctantly acknowledge that other pizza outlets are available. Domino's is one of them. And, as the BBC reports, Domino's saw online sales account for 77.7% of all its pizza deliveries in the UK last year, with 48.6% of them made using its app. That's all very well, but do they come with a free-range egg in the middle? And are they finished with Gran Milano cheese?

    The Pizza Express Fiorentina: It's the egg that clinches it.
    The Pizza Express Fiorentina: It's the egg that clinches it.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Mitch Wagner 3/3/2016 | 12:17:24 PM
    Cisco & pizza Edzard Overbeek was senior at Cisco, and he moved on as part of the transition from CEO John Chambers to Chuck Robbins. 

    And Domino's is not pizza. I don't know what it is. 
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