Airtel Uganda the only profitable unit in east Africa for 2018

03 January 2020

Airtel Uganda was the only unit in east Africa to return a profit for the year ended 2018, according to latest results posted by the Indian telecom giant.

Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda all posted losses, registering a consolidated loss of US$46.5m in the three countries.

The details of the performances are contained in a Bharti Airtel Africa financial report for the year ended 2018.

In Uganda, the company’s profits grew by almost 30% from $65.6m in 2017 to $90.5m last year.

Airtel Tanzania saw its losses narrow to $15.94m in the period compared to $47.1m posted in 2017 pushing accumulated losses to $436.6m.

Elsewhere, the company saw its revenues dip to $202.6m from $212.9m in the period under review.

The Tanzania unit current assets now stand at $211.8m while liabilities add up to $625.7m, leaving the business trying to claw back losses.

Airtel’s Kenyan unit posted a $27.43m loss last year, down from $59.5m in 2017, while the Rwanda saw its loss widen 10 times to $3.16m in the period, barely a year after it acquired Tigo.

According to the latest data supplied by the Uganda Telecommunications Commission (UTC), MTN has a market share of approximately 47% per cent  - slightly ahead of Airtel’s 44%.

This particular market is largely controlled by the two telecoms with other players such as Africell still some way behind.