(Reuters) – MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile phone operator, posted a 43 percent increase in full-year earnings on Wednesday, after last year’s results were hit by costs from a black empowerment share scheme.

MTN restated its results from the previous year, lowering them by nearly 18 percent to account for the costs of a 2010 share scheme to increase ownership among black investors.

Adjusted headline earnings for the year to end-December totalled 1,070 cents compared with the restated 747 cents per share. Last year’s number was changed from 909.1 cents.

Headline earnings, the main measure of profit in South Africa, exclude certain one-time items.

MTN has operations in 21 countries, with most of its revenue coming from South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Iran.

Revenue increased nearly 10 percent to 121.9 billion rand ($16.11 billion), while total users increased 16.2 percent to 164.5 million.

Rival Vodacom reported a 12 percent jump in third-quarter sales last month underpinned by a growing customer base and data business.

MTN is facing a lawsuit in a U.S. court from rival Turkcell over its licence in Iran. Click here to continue reading


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