State monopoly Ethio Telecom, expected to be partly sold off as Ethiopia liberalises its economy, saw a 31.4% rise in revenues in the 12 months to end-June, versus a year earlier, the firm’s chief executive Frehiwot Tamiru said on Thursday.
Ethiopia has said it plans to sell 40 percent of shares in Ethio Telecom, with the government retaining a majority stake.
Speaking at a news conference, Frehiwot attributed the jump in revenues to 47.7 billion birr ($1.37 billion) for the financial year ended June to an expansion of the network and more customers.
The liberalisation of the telecoms sector, which serves a population of 110 million, is part of wider economic reforms launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and would open up one of Africa’s last remaining state-controlled telecoms markets.
Last month, Ethiopia received twelve bids from telecom firms for two telecom licences it plans to award to multinational mobile operators.
The firms include France’s Orange, MTN Group of South Africa, UAE’s Etisalat, and a consortium made up of Vodafone, Vodacom and others. ($1 = 34.8696 birr)