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Expect to spend planned USD 650-700 mn capex in FY21: Airtel Africa

Business Finance

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Airtel Africa on Wednesday said it will continue to invest in network and spend its planned USD 650-700 million (about Rs 4,800-5,200 crore) of capital expenditure in FY21, in line with its guidance.

The company, in its detailed quarterly report, said it has "also deferred the salary review for management and employees until there is more clarity on the COVID-19 impact".

"We intend to continue to invest in our network and spend our planned USD 650 million to USD 700 million of capex in the next financial year, in line with our guidance," said the company with presence in 14 countries in Africa.

In management discussion and analysis of Q4 and FY20 earnings, Airtel Africa said that a detailed analysis of its planned capex indicates that in a worst-case scenario, the company will be able to reduce it significantly without compromising network quality, by prioritising expenditure.

Airtel Africa senior executives said the company has been consistently spending on expanding network and modernising sites.

"The current pandemic may affect the timely deliveries of capital goods. Our capex deliveries are planned ahead of time, and as a policy we carry a deployable stock of network active equipment in our warehouses.

"Currently we have around USD 280 million of capital work in progress and USD 250 million of capital commitments which are expected to be fulfilled, so we have enough deployable materials in our warehouse to ensure timely roll outs across our markets," the company said.

It further said that the strategy of diversifying sourcing across four major providers is also protecting it from company or country specific supply chain risk.

Airtel Africa said it has agreed to extend the maturity of USD 254 million short-term loans due to mature in December 2020 and January 2021 by an average of 18 months to two years, in a bid to further improve liquidity.

The company has identified ways to conserve cash, reduce costs and mitigate risks from COVID-19, it said, adding review of operating expenses has been conducted, and discretionary spend has to a large extent stopped.

"We have also deferred the salary review for management and employees until there is more clarity on the COVID-19 impact. This will be now reviewed by the Remuneration Committee in June and, if required, again in September," it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, May 13 2020. 20:44 IST