Johannesburg - Africa’s largest telecommunications company,
MTN Group [JSE:MTN], on Thursday reported a near 4% increase in subscribers in
the third quarter and lifted its guidance for new users this year.
MTN said it expected to add 23.7 million new customers this
year, up from its previous expectation of 21.25 million.
Subscribers rose to 182.7 million across its 21 operations
in Africa and the Middle East. Earnings in Iran would be affected by the local
foreign exchange depreciation, it said on Thursday.
MTN added 5 500 new subscribers in Iran over the three
months to September, followed by 4 000 in Nigeria.
Irancell is MTN's third-biggest operation but the company
has be unable to repatriate its earnings because of US sanctions against the
Middle Eastern country.
The company is also facing a $4.2bn US lawsuit filed by
Turkish rival Turkcell pertaining to alleged malfeasance when acquiring the
Irancell licence in 2005.
MTN shares are up 1.5% at R153.36 as of 08:23 GMT, and are
up over 12% in the last six months.