Airtel denies plans to exit Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania

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Airtel Africa says its not looking at exiting Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania according to media reports made early Monday.

The firm has this morning said the reports are completely incorrect, unfounded and devoid of any facts.

“Airtel has consistently stated that it is open to consolidation opportunities, either through acquisitions or mergers, to create sustainable businesses in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania,” the firm announced. “It was never stated that Airtel was looking at exiting these markets. As stated in the past, our focus continues to be either the No. 1 or No. 2 operator in each country where we operate, through market consolidation.”

Airtel says it acquired assets in Uganda and CongoB from Warid, Kenya from Yu and consolidated operations in Ghana from Millicom. The firm says customers in these markets now enjoy a superior and wider network, affordable voice & data services, and better customer care.

“This validates our stand that in-country consolidations have resulted in achieving better market positions, thereby benefiting customers and the industry as a whole,” the firm announced.

To underscore its commitment in Kenya, Airtel says it has embarked on investing heavily in all technologies (2G, 3G and 4G) and are putting up over 300 sites over the next few months to improve coverage even further.

Airtel Africa revenues grew by 2.8% Y-o-Y with net revenues growing 6.3% on the back of increase in data penetration. Data traffic grew by 83.8% Y-o-Y. Airtel Money continues to lead with transaction values growing over 30% Y-o-Y. Our efforts to create a profitable business model for Africa continues and we have delivered EBITDA margin of 32.1%, with margins up 9.1% Y-o-Y.

This has also now enabled the business to sustainably generate positive free cash flows.

“We remain focused on accelerating growth through the three pillars of increasing mobile penetration, growing the data business and expanding the Airtel money base,” concluded the firm.

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