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Mobile network posts huge Sh619 million profit for the first time ever

The profit came after a massive loss of Sh588 million in 2015

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Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel has reported a profit of $6 million (Sh619 million) from the African market for the fourth quarter of 2016 from a loss of $57 million (Sh588 million) in 2015.

This was as a result of growth in the data customer base and consumption while overall revenue growth was helped by currency stabilization in most markets.

The mobile carrier’s Africa revenue climbed 2.6 per cent to $888 million (Sh91 billion) in the three months towards March from $872 million in the previous year.

Data consumption and revenues have grown by 95.5% & 23.5% respectively in the just ended fiscal year.

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“Our efforts to deliver a profitable business model for Africa have resulted in EBITDA growth of 36.0% 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),” said Airtel Africa’s Chief Operating Officer Raghunath Mandava.

Bharti Airtel and Millicom International signed an agreement in the last quarter of March 2017 to combine their operations in Ghana through their respective subsidiaries namely, Airtel Ghana Limited and Tigo Ghana Limited.

And as such, the final entity will have equal ownership and governance rights from both parties.

The deal closure is however subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

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The sale of Airtel operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone to Orange were closed whereas 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.

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