NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – Airtel has denied reports that it is exiting Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania but has maintained that it continues to explore consolidation options in these three markets.
“We would like to categorically deny these reports which 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,” says Airtel in a statement.
The mobile operator adds that it aims to occupy first or second market position by consolidation or accusation.
Airtel has in the past few years acquired the assets of Warid, which had operations in Uganda and Congo, Kenya’s Yu and has consolidated operations with Ghana’s Millicom.
“The 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.”
To further cement its commitment in Kenya, Airtel says it is investing 2G, 3G and 4G technologies and putting up over 300 sites over the next few months to improve coverage.
Airtel Africa revenues grew by 2.8 percent Year-on-Year with net revenues growing 6.3 percent on the back of increase in data penetration.
Data traffic grew by 83.8 percent while Airtel Money transaction values grew over 30 percent Year on Year.
“Our efforts to create a profitable business model for Africa continues and we have delivered EBITDA margin of 32.1pc, with margins up 9.1pc 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.”