Close to $630 million has been invested by Bharti Airtel on high-speed Long Term Evolution (LTE)/4G to boost and solidify customer experience in its African operations, including Nigeria and thirteen other nations, in the last 12 months.
In its 4th quarter and complete year results for the period ended March 31, 2019, the Tech giant revealed that its business in Africa is booming, with its subscribers going up 10.7 per cent year-on-year to 98.9 million across fourteen markets. The firm presently operates in Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, Gabon, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
MD and CEO of Africa Airtel, Raghunath Mandava said that Africa’s development story is going stronger with the complete year experiencing a twelve per cent revenue growth. Raghunath said, “That near 12 per cent growth was at constant currency exchange rates, but at “reported currency” rates the full fiscal year revenues grew by six per cent to $3.08 billion, while profit after tax grew considerably to $331 million from just $3 million a year earlier.”
“The increase comes on the back of a robust data traffic growth of 73 per cent and Airtel Money throughput by 22 per cent on a YoY basis. We continue to invest towards enhancing customer experience through a high speed LTE network. To this end, the year saw an overall capex spend of $630 million. That capex was far greater than the $411 million of the previous year.”

Airtel invests capital expenditure Nigeria
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Analysts believe that successes in Naija, its biggest market in Africa is boding well for its operations on the continent. Airtel is presently the 3rd biggest operator in Nigeria with 45 million network users and 26.2 per cent market share.
Connecting Africa recently disclosed that Airtel’s data customers went up by 20.4 per cent to 30 million, after the 24.9 million recorded a year before. The Airtel Money customer base also increased to 14.2 million, improving the overall value on the Airtel Money platform by thirty per cent to $26.16 billion.
Those stats are great for Airtel Africa’s anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO), which the brand confirmed days back. It is set to attract $750 million from the issue of new shares. The operator plans to make use of the money realized from the IPO to decrease net debt.
Bharti Airtel shared over 12 months back that it plans to list its business in Africa. It chose bookrunners last year, earned $1.25 billion in a pre-IPO with 6 investors in October, plus a different round of pre-IPO around January which raised $200 million.
However, the achievements of the African operations are different from those of the total Bharti Airtel group, which operates mainly in India.
Even with the obvious gains in Africa, the total Airtel Group customer numbers went down 2.5 per cent to 404 million in about sixteen nations. Group consolidated overall revenue was decreased by 2.2 per cent YoY on an underlying basis to 807.8 billion Indian rupees ($11.7 billion). Consolidated EBITDA decreased as well, by 13.6 per cent YoY to INR262.94 billion ($3.79 billion), reducing the EBITDA margin by 4.3 per cent.

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