Airtel Posts $6m from Africa Operations

Abuja: Although, the home market appeared troubled due to intense competition, Bharti Airtel has however, posted a $6 million profit from Nigeria and other African countries where it has operations.Bharti Airtel

According to the fourth quarter (Q4) 2016 financial report of the Indian telecommunications giant, released yesterday, the profit came after a loss of $57 million in 2015.

The profit was due to growth in the data customer base and consumption, while overall revenue growth was helped by currency stabilisation in most markets.
This performance confirmed The Guardian’s report of Wednesday that it was only Airtel that recorded a significant growth in Q4, 2016, and Q1, 2017, among other Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria.

Airtel controls 22.8 per cent market share in Nigeria with 34.7 million subscribers.

The financial year 2016-17 becomes the first full year that was positive on profit before tax level.Chief Operating Officer of Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said that revenue growth for the quarter was 4.4 per cent in constant currency terms during FY 16-17 with net revenues up a healthy 5.0 per cent as it shed unprofitable lines.

The report showed that data consumption and revenues have grown by 95.5 per cent & 23.5 per cent respectively in the just ended fiscal.“Our efforts to deliver a profitable business model for Africa have resulted in EBITDA growth of 36.0 per cent with margin expanding by +500 basis points on an underlying basis in FY 16-17. For the first time ever, African operation has delivered positive PBT (profit before tax) in the financial year (constant currency),” Mandava stated.

In the last quarter ended March this year, Bharti Airtel and Millicom International signed an agreement to combine their operations in Ghana through their respective subsidiaries, Airtel Ghana Limited and Tigo Ghana Limited, where the final entity will have equal ownership and governance rights from both parties. The deal closure is subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Over the last fiscal, sale of Airtel operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone to Orange were closed, and sale and lease back of 1,510 towers in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Niger was also completed. With this, the company has sold and leased back 10,450 towers in 10 countries.

Source: The Guardian Newspaper

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