September 26, 2012 / 3:41 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Altech to sell West Africa unit as profit plunges

* To sell 75 pct stake in Altech West Africa

* First-half earnings down 19 pct

* Shares down nearly 7 pct (Adds details)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - South Africa's Allied Technologies said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its majority stake in its money-losing Nigerian business, its latest attempt to stem losses from outside its home market.

The telecom and IT firm, which also reported a 19 percent fall in first-half profit, has been trying to turn around money-losing business in both East and West Africa.

Altech last year replaced the head of its underperforming Kenyan data unit and named a new team to lead its east African operation. Sorting out that business was a "top priority", it said at the time.

Altech said in a statement it had agreed to sell its 75 percent in Altech West Africa, which produces vouchers for mobile network operators and has been losing money for the last 18 months.

It did not give further details of the deal.

The company reported diluted headline earnings of 123 cents per share for the six months to end-August, from 153 cents in the same period a year earlier.

Shares of Altech closed down nearly 7 percent before the announcement, underperforming a nearly 2 percent decline in the broad All-share index. (Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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