Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

ITWeb Africa

Wednesday, Feb 26th

LAP Green Networks posts strong Q3 results

LAP Green Networks posts strong Q3 results.

Africa-focused telecommunications holding firm LAP Green Networks (LAP GreenN) posted its third-quarter results for the period ending September 30, showing positive growth in both subscriber numbers and revenue. The Group gained a 24% quarter-on-quarter increase in subscribers, with its Côte d'Ivoire operation generating over 180% subscriber growth from Q3 2013.

LAP GreenN is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio and was established in 2007 to support LAP's strategic investments in the telecommunications sector.

Commenting on the results, Group management has noted an improvement amongst operators – this despite what they describe as "challenging circumstances".

LAP GreenN's Group CEO Wafik Shater stated, "We are pleased with our results and are very confident in our strategy to deliver communications solutions enabling our OpCos and their customers throughout Africa to benefit from great coverage at affordable prices. This was our strongest Q3 ever in terms of revenue and subscriber growth".

Shater further commented, "We continue to make progress towards restructuring the business and creating shareholder value. We are on course with our turnaround project despite major logistical obstacles back in Libya. In the past 3 years we have managed to reduce net indebtedness by 40% and continue to close the gap on EBITDA losses which were reduced by 34% QoQ in Q3. Whilst we remain in a tough operating environment, facing challenges beyond our control, we continue to see encouraging numbers throughout our operations. Our teams continue to drive positive outcomes and enable productivity despite difficult climates in their respected countries, and we commend them for their hard work."

Business has not been without its challenges. LAP GreenN's operator in South Sudan, Gemtel, has also seen its fair share of challenges. It operates in the youngest country in the world, with instability affecting business and the occurrence of frequent attacks on network sites.

The operation has, however, maintained revenue and increased its EBITDA. Uganda telecom, LAP GreenN's largest operator, has also shown stable growth year-on-year with 31% EBITDA improvements in local currency and subscriber growth of 115%, continuing to provide a truly Ugandan experience for its customers.

"Whilst the UN lifted all sanctions against LAP GreenN back in 2012, we continue to struggle with the impact of remaining EU sanctions - which are now very much out of date and adversely affecting the execution of our turn-around strategy. Overall, despite these challenges, LAP GreenN is deeply committed to its investments and to creating value for its stakeholders, so there is no doubt we will continue to march towards success." added Shater.

Meanwhile the Company remains embroiled in a lawsuit against the Zambian government over the repossession of Zamtel and continues to seek to have the court force the country's government to reverse its decision to take ownership of the company.

However, the Zambian government has insisted that it can only compensate LAP GreenN for its investment in Zamtel as opposed to transferring ownership of the company.


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