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Airtel revenue rises in Africa

New Delhi, May 2 - India's Bharti Airtel Wednesday reported a 16 percent growth in revenue in its Africa operations at $1.2 billion during the quarter ended March 31 over the like period of the previous financial year.

The company's customer base in the African market crossed 53 million mark with the addition of 2.2 million customers during the quarter under review.

"Revenues from Africa continued to growth, despite a national strike in Nigeria which lasted nine days," the company said in a statement.

Manoj Kohli, the company's chief executive for international operations, said the goal to achieve $5 billion in revenue from the African operations in the current financial year remains "intact".

During the quarter ended March 31, the company incurred a capital expenditure of $254 million on the African operations.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) of the firm in the African market stood at $6.8 per month while the blended monthly usage per customer was at 122 minutes during the period under review.

Airtel also launched its operations in Rwanda, expanding its footprint to 17 countries in the African continent.

It rolled out 3G services in Ghana, Sierra, Leone, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, taking the total number of countries to 7 and launched Airtel money services in 3 countries - Malawi, DRC and Gabon, bringing the total to 8.

Bharti Airtel in 2010 inked a multi-billion deal to acquire the African assets of Kuwait's Zain in what made the combined entity the world's fifth largest mobile telephony firm. Though the firm's revenue has steadily grown in Africa, it is yet to make a profit.

At the Bombay Stock Exchange, shares of the company closed 2.47 percent up at Rs.317.95.



-IANS


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