JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African telecoms giant MTN said on Monday it expected to see a 20 percent improvement in earnings per share last year compared with 2017.

Headline earnings per share is a key profit measure in South Africa that strips out one-off items.

Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator reported headline earnings per share of 182 cents and attributable earnings per share of 246 cents for the prior financial year.

Following the announcement, MTN shares recovered some earlier losses to stand at 87.60 rand per share, down 0.57 percent, at 0924 GMT.

Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by James Macharia