After it was reported that Bharti Airtel was mulling over a possible exit from three East African countries i.e. Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, the company has today come out denying these claims, citing them as “completely incorrect, unfounded and devoid of any facts”
In a press statement, Airtel said it has “consistently stated that it is 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.”
The company went ahead to prove its commitment by stating that it has acquired assets in Uganda and CongoB (Warid), Kenya (Yu) and consolidated operations in Ghana (Millicom). The company also highlighted that it has invested heavily in Kenya, including in the development of 2G, 3G and 4G network and putting up over 300 additional base stations in the coming months to increase coverage in the country. “This validates our stand that in-country consolidations have resulted in achieving better market positions, thereby benefiting customers and the industry as a whole,” said Airtel.
Bharti Airtel Africa said that its revenues grew by 2.8% Year-on-Year, with net revenues growing 6.3% thanks to an increase in data penetration which grew by 83.8% in the same period. The company also stated that Airtel Money’s transaction values grew over 30% Y-o-Y.
“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 presser.