In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ziad Dalloul, the chief executive of Africell’s Lebanese parent company Lintel Holding, has revealed that the company generated annual sales of USD220 million in 2013, up 30% year-on-year. Lintel, which owns operations in Gambia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), also recently paid USD12 million for the assets of Orange Uganda, and Dalloul is optimistic that he can reverse the unit’s flagging fortunes before too long. While confirming that regulatory approval for the takeover was finalised last week, he told the WSJ: ‘Orange’s board decided to withdraw from some losing operations. For us, it was a good opportunity. They have a very good network, with 3G and Long Term Evolution [technology] … We think that we can turn it around in a year.’ Meanwhile, with regards to the group’s pan-African expansion plans, he noted: ‘We hope to achieve [a footprint in] at least two markets within the next three years … [a target is] any market that has less than 50% mobile penetration.’
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