Airtel Refutes Media Reports Stating Its Possible Exit From Africa

Media Statement from Bharti Airtel

NAIROBI 30 th  January, 2017: Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications company with

operations in 15 countries across Africa, has refuted speculative media reports erroneously

stating its possible exit from Africa. The organization has reaffirmed that it remains

committed to Africa and will continue to invest in its operations to grow sustainably in



Airtel Africa’s recent 3 rd  quarter results were strong. The underlying Africa revenues for the

quarter accelerated by 6.0 per cent Y-o- Y, the highest over the last 9 quarters. The

organizations efforts to improve the quality of customer acquisitions have resulted in a

reduction in customer churn to 4.9 per cent from 6.0 per cent. Data consumption and

revenues have grown by 91.0 per cent & 24.0 per cent Y-o- Y respectively, led by stronger

data networks. The strong focus on cost management has led to a significant underlying

EBITDA margin expansion of 4.5 per cent Y-o- Y, which now stands at 24.5 per cent. Africa

is now generating positive free cash and is PBT positive in constant currency.


Raghunath Mandava, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, said’

“All the steps taken recently with regard to human resources and infrastructure have been

geared towards readying the organization to grow efficiently and sustainably in the medium

to long term. The company remains committed to competing in various markets and

providing more choice to customers through further investments to ensure consistent delivery

of quality and value for money services to our customers. We are also accelerating our

investments in new data networks and to modernize our existing networks. We are committed

to launch 4 G in multiple countries.”


He added “Mergers and acquisitions continue to be the norm for any multinational

organization and they affect all global organizations in equal measures as and when they

happen. As a strategy, we look for opportunities to acquire or merge in opcos that are

operating in a fragmented market structure with too many players in a small market. Last

year, Airtel and Orange reached a mutually beneficial agreement on the assets in Sierra

Leone and Burkina Faso. Similarly, Airtel also acquired assets in Uganda, CongoB and

Kenya in recent times. The agreements brought together the strengths of Airtel, Warid and

Essar. This has offered benefits to customers in the form of a superior and wider network,

affordable voice / data services and better customer care. Away from Africa, recently, we

merged with Robi in Bangladesh to create a solid and profitable No.2 player in the market.”


The recent results demonstrate the effectiveness of Airtel’s business strategy in Africa.  The

organization sees an opportunity ahead to emerge with a broader reach and sharper execution.



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