MTN boss paid R28m in 2014

In a year when Africa and Middle East biggest mobile phone operator return more than R20bn to its shareholders as a dividend windfall and invested back R26bn in network, the MTN Group’s CEO Sifiso Dabengwa was paid R28m in total compensation in 2014.

Dabengwa, who has focused on sweating the assets instead of growing by acquisitions, received R9.3m salary and R13.3m bonus plus R3.5m share gains and other benefits such as retirement, according to the operators’ 2014 integrated annual report.

Dabengwa helped the company grew shareholders return by 20.3% to R20bn in 2014 and assisted MTN to post a 20% rise in headline earnings per share – SA’s main profit gauge – to 1 752c.

MTN’s Chief financial officer Brett Goschen was paid R13.4m in total remunerations, which consist of R5.6m salary plus R6.7bonus, according to MTN’s figures.

He is credited with sustaining annual dividend growth of 5% to 15% and managed opportunistic share buybacks worth R2.4bn.

MTN, which is valued at more than R385 billion, continues to benefit from encouraging growth in non-voice revenue, driven by various data initiatives (including the Mobile Money offering) across key markets.

MTN, which operates mobile phone networks in more than 20 countries, is fighting to keep market share from competitors such as India’s Bharti Airtel, British-based Vodafone, Millicom and Vodacom and overt-the-top players, which are fighting for a bigger slice of the telecoms market.

Dabengwa and his executive team have managed to ensure that the operator continues to deliver good returns to shareholders and maintain its investment to improve its network to ensure it retain and attract new customers.

The MTN boss has also manage to amass enough cash to pursue aggressive growth by buying companies or invest oraganicaly.

MTN has enough cash to pursue its digital strategy and compete aggressively with its rivals. By the end of the year, MTN was sitting on a R43 billion cash pile that could come in handy to develop new products and services to retain and attract new customers.

Seeking to create more shareholder value, MTN management under Dabengwa, will continue to evaluate shareholder returns through progressive dividend policy of growing dividends by between 5% and 15% a year, as well as buying back shares on an opportunistic basis.

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