Oslo: Norwegian telecom giant Telenor announced a sharp rise in annual profits on Wednesday mainly due to increased profit margins.
The company -- one of the world`s largest mobile phone operators -- reported a 50 percent leap in net profits in 2013 to 13.2 billion krone (USD 2.16 billion, 1.58 billion euros).
That compared with 8.8 billion kroner in 2012 while turnover grew 2.3 percent to 104 billion krone.
Telenor has particularly strong growth in emerging markets with rapid expansion in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh -- 17 million new subscribers in 2013 -- bringing the total number of customers to 166 million worldwide.
In January the company, which is 54-percent owned by the Norwegian state, signed an agreement to operate in Myanmar, which has one of the world`s lowest levels of mobile phone ownership and greatest potential for expansion.
Telenor shares were down 5.56 percent on the Oslo Stock Exchange in mid-day trading on Wednesday in an overall market down 0.5 percent.