Airtel Africa cuts losses in Q2

Regulatory changes in key African markets dent gross revenues by $41m
Airtel Africa cuts losses in Q2 2013, Telecoms Africa


Indian mobile giant, Bharti Airel, continued to cut its losses in Africa, where it has 17 mobile operations.

The operator made a net loss of $106 million in the second quarter of 2013, which represented a 14.5% improvement on the same period a year earlier.

The Africa unit’s total revenues for Q2 were 1.06 billion, which was roughly the same as in Q2 2012.

The unit’s operating expenses rose by 5.7% to $551 million for the second quarter as the group deployed new infrastructure and capacity.

During the quarter, the Africa operations were “significantly impacted” by regulatory changes and political unrest in key markets, Airtel said.

Changes to mobile termination rates in Nigeria, DRC and Tanzania, the disconnection of active subscribers in Nigeria, and pricing regulation in Gabon, reduced Airtel gross revenue by $41 million.

Political unstability also dented revenues by about $21 million. “The political environment was a mixed bag. While the post-election situation in Kenya remained peaceful, there was unrest in parts of Nigeria leading to declaration of emergency in three northern states. Our internal estimate indicates a probable loss of traffic and resultant revenue loss of $21 million during the period of emergency,” the telco said in a statement.

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