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Airtel Africa buys back 991,861 of own shares from Citigroup

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Airtel Africa buys back 991,861 own shares from Citigroup

Telecom giant, Airtel Africa, has bought back 991.861 units of its shares of $0.50 each on the London Stock Exchange from Citigroup Global Markets.

The transactions took place on Friday and Monday, according to corporate notices filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

Airtel Africa revealed plans for a $100m share buyback programme starting March 2024 as it announced its nine-month results ended 31 December 2023.

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The share buy-back programme is expected to be phased over two tranches, with the first tranche commencing March 1 and anticipated to end on or before August 2024. The first tranche will amount to a maximum of $50m.

Airtel said that the sole purpose of the buy-back programme is to reduce the capital of the Company. As such, all shares purchased under the buy-back programme will be cancelled.

Since the commencement of the share buy-back programme, the company has purchased 991,861 ordinary shares in aggregate, at a volume-weighted average price of £97.07 per ordinary unit.

In a related development, Airtel Africa reported a 99.6 per cent decline in its post-tax profit to $2m at the end of the nine months ended December 2023 from $523m at the end of the same period in 2022.

The telecom firm said, “Profit after tax was $2m in the period, primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds, particularly the $330m exceptional loss after tax following the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 and the Malawian kwacha in November 2023 after the structural changes in their respective FX markets.

“The Nigerian naira devalued further in Q3’24, resulting in a $140m derivative and foreign exchange losses net of tax, which is not treated as an exceptional item.”

In its nine-month results for the period ended December 31, 2023, filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Thursday, the firm declared a 1.4 per cent moderation in its revenue to $3.86bn from $3.91bn in December 2022.

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