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Companies

Airtel Africa to sell its 4,500 tower assets to cut down $3.5 billion debts

Airtel Africa has concluded plans to sell about 4,500 telecommunication towers across 5 countries.

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Airtel partners Western Union to expand its own mobile money service , Airtel loses over 100,000 subscribers in one month as Glo chases MTN's market share cvf

Airtel Africa Plc – the parent company of Airtel Nigeria Plc, has concluded plans to sell about 4,500 telecommunication towers across 5 countries including Tanzania and Madagascar to help reduce $3.5 billion of debt and prepare for looming bond repayments.

Africa’s second-largest carrier by subscribers, with headquarters in London, is also disposing of cellular masts in Gabon, Malawi, and Chad.

READ: FG set to provide interest-free loans and agricultural inputs to farmers

This disclosure was made by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel Africa Plc, Raghunath Mandava, during an interview.

Mandava said, “We are constantly seeking to bring down our debt, and we prefer to bring it down even faster with the tower deals.’

According to the annual report of the telecoms firm, Airtel has a repayment of 750 million euros ($890 million) due in May, while an installment of $505 million is due in March 2023.

READ: UACN of Nigeria Plc records 10.49% increase in 2020 Q3 revenues

The CEO pointed out that the company, which was spun off from India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd last year and is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Nigeria Stock Exchange, used the proceeds of the dual Initial Public Offering (IPO) to help reduce its debts to $3.5 billion from about $7.7 billion. The outstanding balance includes $1.8 billion of bonds that have cross-default clauses, with Bharti Airtel still its biggest shareholder.

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However, Mandava disclosed that Airtel Africa Plc plans to lease back the towers from the successful buyers.

READ: Total Nigeria Plc records 344% rise in PAT for Q3 2020

The stock has declined by 18% since the June 2019 IPO, valuing the company at 2.4 billion pounds ($3.1 billion).

A number of the continent’s wireless carriers have been selling similar tower assets to specialist operators, opting to save on maintenance costs, allay security concerns, and bypass shortfalls in power and road infrastructure.

READ: Analysis: Is this a Lafarge rebirth?

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Nairametrics had reported that its competitor, MTN Group, plans to sell its 29% stake in IHS Towers, a telecoms infrastructure and service provider. The African biggest carrier also generated about $812 million in assets that included sales of its tower holdings in Ghana and Uganda to American Towers Inc.

Meanwhile, the need for additional masts in Africa is increasing, as millions more adopt smartphones and faster broadband is needed.

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READ: Increase in local sales drives Wamco Plc revenue to N150.6 billion in 9M 2020

The CEO also said that many of Airtel Africa’s 14 markets border each other, making it easier to roll out fibre even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has added 9,000 kilometres (5,592 miles) of cable this year, bringing the total to 47,000 kilometres.

He said, “Our focus is to grow in the countries that we are in.’’

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Companies

Africa Prudential proposes dividend of N1 billion for shareholders

Africa Prudential Plc has proposed a sum of N1 billion as dividend for shareholders.

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African Prudential could be worth more than N4.55

The Board of Directors of Africa Prudential Plc has proposed a sum of N1 billion as dividend to shareholders for the period ended 31st of December 2020.

This is according to a disclosure signed by the firm’s secretary, Joseph Jibunoh and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

According to the notification, the proposed dividend will be paid electronically to qualified shareholders on the 26th of March, 2021, subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval from the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled a day earlier.

The breakdown of the proposed dividend shows that a sum of 50 kobo will be paid for each outstanding 2,000,000,000 ordinary shares of the company, held by its shareholders, totalling N1 billion. The proposed dividend is 28.6% lower than the 2019 figures of N1.4 billion.

The comparative decline in the company’s proposed dividend for the year might be attributed to a recent dip in profit and other key metrics recorded by the firm in its latest audited financial statement for 2020. For example, the firm posted a profit of N1.45 billion for the year, indicating a decline of 13.98% YoY. In addition, its earnings per share declined by 14.29% to print at 72 kobo.

What you should know

  • Africa Prudential had recently announced the appointment of Mrs Zubaida Rasheed as Director.
  • Africa Prudential Plc, formerly known as UBA Registrars Ltd, was incorporated as a private limited liability company on 23rd March 2006. It was listed in the NSE on 17th of January, 2013.

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Companies

Dangote Sugar proposes N18.2 billion as final dividend for 2020

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has proposed a sum of N18.2 billion as the final dividend for shareholders.

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Dangote Sugar proposes N18.2 billion as final dividend for 2020

The Board of Directors of Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has proposed a sum of N18.2 billion as the final dividend for shareholders for the period ended 31st December 2020.

This announcement was contained in the audited financial statement of the leading integrated sugar company.

In line with the statement of the Board of DSR, the approval of this proposed dividend at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting will see Dangote Sugar pay out a final dividend of N1.50 for each of the outstanding 12,146,878,241 ordinary shares of the company, held by its shareholders.

The proposed dividend is 36.36% higher than the final dividend of N1.1 per share (N13.36 billion) the sugar company paid its shareholders in 2019.

What you should know

  • Dangote Sugar Refinery declared in its audited statement for the period ended 31st December 2020 that its profit for the year climbed to N29.8 billion, from N22.4 billion in 2019.
  • According to these figures, DSR’s earnings per share for 2020 are pegged at N2.45. Hence, with a dividend of N1.50 per share, Dangote Sugar is set to payout 61.2% of its profits for 2020.
  • At the close of trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange today, shares in Dangote Sugar Refinery declined by 0.83% to close lower at N17.85.
  • At this price, the dividend yield of Dangote Sugar shares is 8.40%.

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