Bharti Airtel to spend $1 billion per year in Africa

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

BUJA: Telecom major Bharti Airtel will invest $1 billion every year on its African operations over the next few years.

"Airtel will invest $1 billion in Africa per annum over the next few years," Bharti Enterprises Founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum here.

Airtel has operations in 17 African countries. The company has deployed 3G network in 14 of them.

Mittal, who is the co-chair of the event, said that company will focus on existing operations across 17 countries rather than expanding to newer markets.

Airtel had entered the African market in 2010 after acquiring Zain Telecom for about $10.7 billion.

In the last fiscal, Airtel had made capital expenditure of $635 million in Africa.

The cumulative investment of Airtel was $14,388 million in Africa at the end of 2013-14.

Airtel Africa witnessed 2 per cent growth in revenues for the last of quarter of 2013-14 to $1.14 billion.

The company registered a net loss of $124 million in Africa as compared to a loss of $91 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

The average revenue per user for Airtel in Africa saw 7 per cent decline to $5.5.

The number of data customers in Africa during the quarter increased by 53.5 per cent to 22.3 million and now represent 32.1 per cent of the total customer base.