Airtel refutes claims that it is exiting Kenyan Market

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Bharti Airtel has refuted claims that it is exiting the Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania markets as per reports made in certain sections of the media.

According to a statement posted on Airtel’s Facebook Page, Airtel termed the reports as completely incorrect, unfounded and devoid of any facts.

In the same statement Airtel stated that they were open to consolidation opportunities, either through acquisitions or mergers, to create sustainable businesses in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

“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,” read the statement.

Across Africa, Airtel stated that financial performance continues to be strong in Africa. In constant currency terms, 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 also continued to lead with transaction values growing over 30% Y-o-Y. Airtel’s efforts to create a profitable business model for Africa continues and 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,” read the statement.

However, in the year to December 2016, Airtel Kenya made an after tax loss of Sh8.1 billion, making it one of Airtel’s worst markets in Africa.

To underscore its commitment in Kenya Airtel 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. The telco company is currently the second-largest operator by subscription with 15.3 per cent market share as at June 2017.

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