Airtel Africa has inked a $125 million revolving credit facility with US banking major, to support operations and investments in four of its subsidiaries in the continent.
“The facility is in line with our strategy to raise debt in our local operating companies and will include both local currency and US dollar-denominated debt, Bharti Airtel’s Africa arm said in a statement Wednesday.
Airtel Africa added that the revolving credit facility has a tenor up to September 2024 and provides potential interest rate savings in exchange for achieving social impact milestones relating to digital inclusion and gender diversity, with a focus on rural areas and women, and aligning with the group’s sustainability strategy, launched in October 2021.
The revolving credit facility would be extended through Citi’s branch offices/subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Earlier in March, Airtel Africa had raised $194 million via debt from International Finance Corporation IFC the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, to fund capex needs of key subsidiaries and refinance existing loans.
Airtel Africa, which has seen a strong business resurgence in recent years, was made part of the FTSE 100 Index in end-January.
Airtel Africa reported a net profit of $178 million in the first quarter of FY23, a 25% jump from a year earlier. But net profit fell 26% sequentially, hurt by higher costs and also barring outgoing calls for customers in Nigeria who had not yet registered their national identification numbers. Revenue for the quarter to June 30 rose 13% on-year and 2.8% sequentially in reported currency to $1.257 billion. Average revenue per user (ARPU) – a key performance metric — was up 0.6% on-quarter and 4.4% on-year, at $2.90. Airtel Africa’s customer base across 14 markets in the continent rose 2.4% on-quarter to 131.6 million.
The company had completed its first full year of profitability back in FY18, marking a turnaround from earlier years when losses had mounted every quarter, dragging down consolidated numbers and had even cast a doubt on Bharti’s strategy of entering into the continent back in 2010. Airtel Africa Plc was listed on London Stock Exchange in late-June 2019