LAP Green Network (LAP GreenN), the telecoms holding company owned by the Libya African Investment Portfolio which has significant interests throughout Africa, has reported year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter ‘improvement’ in both subscribers and revenue for the three months ended 30 September 2014, despite what it terms ‘challenging circumstances’ in the market. The Group says its overall ‘OpCo’ subscriber base rose 24% q-o-q, fuelled in part by Oricel – LAP GreenN’s unit in Cote d’Ivoire – which increased its base by over 180% in the year to end-September 2014, to around 700,000 users.
Commenting on the results, LAP GreenN chief executive officer 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.’ The CEO went on to add: ‘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 three years we have managed to reduce net indebtedness by 40% and continue to close the gap on EBITDA losses which were reduced by 34% q-o-q in Q3 2014. 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.’
The Group’s South Sudan operation, Gemtel, has also faced a difficult time he said, operating as it does in the world’s youngest telecoms market. Gemtel’s inception has been further affected by political instability in the country which has resulted in attacks on its network sites. Despite this, the cellco has continued to attract new subscribers and has maintained revenue and increased its EBITDA. Meanwhile, Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL), LAP GreenN’s single largest mobile business, reported ‘stable growth’ y-o-y with 31% EBITDA improvements in local currency and subscriber growth of 115%, Shater said.