MTN growth to hit 200-million user mark in 2013

South African telecoms operator MTN Group said revenue grew by nearly 6 percent in the first four months of the year, as it added more subscribers particularly in its key Nigerian market.

The mobile company, which has operations in 22 countries, also said on Tuesday it expected to have 200 million users by the middle of 2013, after increasing users by 4 percent to 197.4 million in the January-April period.

“MTN Nigeria recorded strong growth in reported revenue for the first four months … supported by strong growth in subscriber numbers and usage,” MTN said in a statement.

Nigerian revenue was boosted by a favourable rand exchange rate against the dollar, it said.

The South African unit continued to struggle against increased competition from market leader Vodacom and smaller unlisted rival Cell C, but data revenue underpinned earnings, MTN said.

MTN shares extended losses after the announcement, and were down 0.47 percent to 181.14 rand at 1249GMT. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by David Dolan)

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MTN growth to hit 200-million user mark in 2013