October 17, 2019 / 12:16 PM / 10 months ago

Ethio Telecom Q1 revenues up 21% year-on-year

Customers receive assistance from staff members at an Ethio Telecom branch in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 7, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s state-run Ethio Telecom saw total revenues rise 21% in the first quarter of its fiscal year compared with the same period a year earlier, the company said on Thursday, showing healthy growth as it prepares for foreign competition.

The company’s total revenue reached 10.1 billion Ethiopian birr ($343 million), with subscriber numbers up 10% on the year to 44.45 million.

“We have revamped existing products and we have also launched new ones. Our discounted tariffs on internet and data meant usage increased by 92% as costumers started using such services more,” CEO Frehiwot Tamiru told Reuters by phone.

Ethio Telecom announced a three-year plan in August aimed at installing 4G network in the capital Addis Ababa as well as in other regions and to upgrade other network services.

Frehiwot said the company was preparing to roll out 4G.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced major economic and political reforms since his appointment last year and has pledged to open up the largely state-controlled economy to private investment. The government is moving fastest in the telecoms sector.

In July, the government said it would award two telecoms licences to multinational mobile companies.

Plans for Ethio Telecom are not yet public, although it has appointed international firm KPMG to value its assets.

Editing by Giulia Paravicini; Editing by Mark Potter

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